A Small Scale Method for the Production of Soymilk and Silken Tofu
- D. E. Evans,
- C. Tsukamoto and
- N. C. Nielsen
Interest in traditional Asian foods such as tofu and soymilk has developed in the USA during the past few years. Lacking, however, is a small scale, rapid test that will permit plant breeders and food technologists to evaluate the potential of various soybean [(Glycine max L.(Merr)] cultivars and breeding lines to produce these foods. A procedure is described in which 80 g of ground soybean is used to make silken tofu. Glucono-δ-1actone serves as the coagulant in the procedure. The method results in tofu whose characteristics are reproducible among different preparations, and whose quality compares favorably with imported Japanese silken tofu that is available commercially in the USA. To evaluate the method, soymilk and tofu were made from 182 experimental, public, and private soybean cultivars grown in Indiana in 1990. Differences were observed among cultivars for soymilk yield, tofu whiteness, and texture (tofu fracturability and hardness). Significant correlations were found between soybean protein content, soymilk protein content, and tofu fracturability. The same correlations have previously been established in the literature based on comparisons of material made by traditional large scale manufacturing methods. A correlation between soymilk solids content and fracturability was also observed when the ratio of water used to process the ground soybean was varied. The small scale method will be useful to evaluate soybean lines from breeding programs.
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