Since 2009, when research by The Cornucopia Institute exposed “the dirty little secret” of the soyfoods industry, vocal concern from consumers over the use of the toxic solvent hexane
has led several prominent food companies to switch to cleaner soy ingredients in their veggie burgers and nutrition bars. The Cornucopia Institute has now released a new report to assist consumers and wholesale buyers in identifying brands that use hexane-extracted soy protein ingredients from those that have committed to cleaner sources. Toxic Chemicals: Banned In Organics But Common in Natural Food Production
also contains an online guide for buyers who want hexane-free soy foods.
“Many soy foods, thought of as ‘healthy options’ on grocery store shelves, contain ingredients that were processed with a neurotoxic and highly-polluting petrochemical compound called hexane,” said Charlotte Vallaeys, Farm and Food Policy Analyst for The Cornucopia Institute. “We are pleased to see that several industry leaders have responded to consumer concerns by switching to ingredients
produced without the dangerous chemical.” To process common soy ingredients, such as soy protein isolate and soy protein concentrate, manufacturers immerse whole soybeans in a bath of synthetic, petroleum-based solvents. Hexane is classified as a neurotoxin by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a hazardous air pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Cornucopia has also created a short video, available on YouTube, spotlighting the hexane issue, and a food guide for name-brand soy products
. Cornucopia said they hoped their report would help consumers understand that buying organic foods assured that the soybeans in their food were not immersed in petrochemical solvents, an almost universal practice in conventional food processing. “We’re happy to see that responsible companies, truly dedicated to the integrity of their brands and maintaining consumer confidence, take this issue seriously. These are the heroes in the industry, and they are listed in these guides so that consumers can support them in the marketplace,” states Mark Kastel, Co-director of The Cornucopia Institute. Companies that showed their commitment to safer and more environmentally responsible food production practices by eliminating the use of hexane in their products include industry leaders Amy’s Kitchen and Nature’s Path.
The Cornucopia Institute