ISP vs. TSP: Which is Your Processor Using?

by Sam / 13. October 2014 06:39

Perusing the ingredient list of many commodity chicken products, you have probably come across the abbreviations ISP and TSP and wondered: What are those things, anyway? 

The straight forward answer is that Isolated Soy Protein and Textured Vegetable Protein are both alternate protein products that are added to items like chicken nuggets and patties to enhance their nutritional value. They are both derived from soy beans and added as a low fat, low calorie protein source. But what’s the difference?

The difference is important on many levels. While both are processed soy bean products, they fall into two completely different categories. ISP is an isolate, consisting of approximately 90% protein and 10% carbohydrate, whereas TSP is a concentrate with only a 70/30% protein to carbohydrate ratio. In the simplest terms, this means that ISP does its intended job better than TSP—it provides more protein with fewer calories and less fat. 

The differences between the two can also be seen—or rather, smelled—in the kitchen. When cooked, carbohydrates give off distinct flavors and smells. Due to the disparity in carbohydrate proportion between ISP and TSP, items made with TSP often emit a “cerealy” odor that has contributed to “soy bias” among students.

In addition to these basic differences, ISP offers benefits unique to soy protein products. It is low in fat, saturated fat, and contains no trans fat, while also being cholesterol and lactose-free. It also has a PDCAAS (the standard scale for measuring protein quality) of 100, which places it among other high quality proteins like egg and milk.

So what are those things, anyway? They’re a significant piece of the puzzle when choosing commodity meat products.

Which one does your processor use?



10/15/2014 4:53:39 AM #

Goldkist uses Isolated Soy Protein in their products that have soy protein. In addition to the difference in smell one can also see a difference in color when comparing Goldkist to it's competition. The Goldkist chicken is white where as the competitions products are typically grey because they use TSP.

It's also important to note that when comparing Goldkist nutritional information to a competitor to make sure you are comparing the same serving size. Often times the competition will lesson the serving size on the nutritional data. However the CN label will require a larger portion size therefore making changing the nutritional data.  

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About Barry Katz

Barry started his career in the foodservice industry in 1970 as a manager for his family’s meat processing business. After a decade of on-the-job training, he opened his own brokerage company in 1980, and began selling to schools three years later. He has represented Silver Spring Farms since 1983 and Gold Kist since 1987, and proudly continues to sell their quality line of products today. In his spare time, Barry enjoys skiing and biking as well as working on photography. He lives in Maple Glen with his wife and their dog, Zoey.

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