Phytic Acid in Soy – Can We Reduce It?

Soy is high in phytic acid, a substance which binds to iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium in your digestive tract. Your body absorbs fewer of those key minerals because the phytic acid essentially clings to them and escorts them out in your stool. In many foods, the phytate content is reduced by soaking, sprouting, fermentation, and ultimately, cooking. However, the phytic acid in soy is difficult to remove: you can soak and soak your soybeans and still retain high levels of this anti-nutrient.

Home cooks are faced with a key question: Is there an effective way to reduce phytates in soy? Can we benefit somehow from the mineral content of the soybean?

A 1985 study in the Journal of Applied Bacteriology, Sutardi and Buckle tested the level of phytic acid in soy after different stages of preparation. After soaking and boiling the soy beans, the researchers found that they retained nearly 100% of this mineral-inhibitor. They proceeded to steam the beans and found a 15% reduction. The…

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