Soy protein: a food allergen frequently used in the preparation of meat products
ABSTRACT The addition of soy proteins, currently classified as a food allergen, into meat products is a commonly used practice due to its functional properties and low cost. Its addition to meat products can cause health problems for individuals allergic to these proteins. Allergic individuals can be affected by the ingestion of low amounts of the allergen. In Brazil, limits are set for the addition of soy proteins in meat products in order to avoide fraud. Starting in 2015 reporting the name of the added component became mandatory for all food labelling. Some studies have reported that food processing can reduce the allergenicity, either by irreversible removal of allergens or by modifying the allergen structure. However, the technological approach to decrease allergenicity has largely been empirical. This review describes the use of soy protein in meat products and the health risk for allergic individuals and consumers of these products. Finally, appropriate methodologies for the detection and quantification of these proteins must be further explored and established to avoid fraud and to preserve consumer health.