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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Nordic Crops as Alternatives to Soy-An Overview of Nutritional, Sensory, and Functional Properties

Auer, Jaqueline; Ostlund, Johanna; Nilsson, Klara; Johansson, Mathias; Herneke, Anja; Langton, Maud


Soy (Glycine max) is used in a wide range of products and plays a major role in replacing animal-based products. Since the cultivation of soy is limited by cold climates, this review assessed the nutritional, sensory, and functional properties of three alternative cold-tolerant crops (faba bean (Vicia faba), yellow pea (Pisum sativum), and oat (Avena sativa)). Lower protein quality compared with soy and the presence of anti-nutrients are nutritional problems with all three crops, but different methods to adjust for these problems are available. Off-flavors in all pulses, including soy, and in cereals impair the sensory properties of the resulting food products, and few mitigation methods are successful. The functional properties of faba bean, pea, and oat are comparable to those of soy, which makes them usable for 3D printing, gelation, emulsification, and extrusion. Enzymatic treatment, fermentation, and fibrillation can be applied to improve the nutritional value, sensory attributes, and functional properties of all the three crops assessed, making them suitable for replacing soy in a broad range of products, although more research is needed on all attributes.


faba bean (Vicia faba); pea (Pisum sativum); oat (Avena sativa); soy alternative; plant-based food; plant-based proteins

Published in

2023, Volume: 12, number: 13, article number: 2607
Publisher: MDPI