This year, Covid-19 international travel restrictions gave ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Program the opportunity to re-envision how to deliver food engineering consulting services to food and beverage companies in El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras. These experts bring valuable insights to WISHH’s strategic partners, helping them move to the next step of incorporating soy protein ingredients into their product recipes.
Using Zoom, Dr. Sergio Serna Saldivar, Department of Biotechnology and Food Engineering Tecnológico de Monterrey, and Julio Chavez, Meats Engineer, both seasoned experts on U.S. soy ingredients, worked with seven companies. They provided personalized instructions on how to manufacture and distribute food and beverage items that range from processed meats, snacks, cookies, granola, and beverages, to fortified cereal-based mixes. The training demonstrated the feasibility and functionality of U.S. soy.
WISHH’s in-depth consulting sessions engaged with representatives from each company, covering the overall nutritional value and protein quality advantages of soy and the associated economics of formulating with each soy ingredient without significantly affecting production costs. Participants discussed the optimum way to incorporate defatted soybean flour, soy protein concentrate, and soy protein isolates into food and beverage formulations. The Zoom training sessions also delved into the details, such as the recommended production methods and equipment needed, finished product packaging, shelf life and logistics considerations, and the benefits of using soy products compared to other options on the market.
All seven companies are fresh recruits and new WISHH key accounts that are seriously interested in learning more about U.S. soy protein ingredients. Moving forward, WISHH regional representatives will stay in contact with them to bolster the working relationships and refine customized plans of action to support each company’s progress toward launching new food and beverage products containing U.S. soy protein ingredients. WISHH will also invite each of these Central American key accounts to attend the early September and mid-October WISHH food industry webinars.
Photo caption: ASA/WISHH’s virtual training session with experts features the benefits of U.S. soy in manufacturing and distributing of food and beverage items in El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras.