There has been a lot a press about soy’s heart benefits and possible positive affects on women’s health http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20110630/benefits-of-soy-a-mixed-bag. In general it is best to have a varied diet and try new things. This is, however, the first cultured soy product(a yogurt style non-dairy food) I have tried, Usually, it is the beany, cardboard taste of soy products that sways me towards the more familiar dairy products. I was pleasantly impressed with soy yogurt, though. Although, there is a distinct soy taste, it isn’t unpleasant and blends well with the creamy, tart character of the yogurt. There is a green, sour, slightly floral fruity note that is supposed to be strawberry flavor. It isn’t a distinct strawberry flavor, but it increases the palatability. A strawberry flavor with depth and fullness would have blended better in the soy yogurt and covered the beany soy notes. Also, a more pleasant pinkish color to the soy yogurt, rather than the tan, would have been best.
In dairy science class, I learned yogurt production involves adding live cultures (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) to milk. The bacteria form acid which lowers the pH to the isoelectric point of milk proteins (4.6). On the pH scale:1 is acidic,7 is neutral, 14 is basic. When the isoelectric point for milk protein is reached, a solid is formed (yogurt). Soy milk protein has a similar iso electric point, pH 4.5. I can imagine that soy milk is processed in a similar fashion to regular milk to form yogurt. The label on Trader Joe’s soy yogurt is very clean and has mostly organic or natural ingredients. Also, because live cultures are added, they are still present in the yogurt when you ingest it. Live cultures are noted as being very good for digestion health. Soy yogurt is definitely a good product and I look forward to trying other brands and flavors.