A new study conducted at the University of Guelph found that soy not only offers essential amino acids, protein, fiber, and calcium, but also has the ability to protect people from food-borne illnesses, reports CBC. Researchers found that soy can limit the growth of some bacteria such as listeria and pseudomonas better than chemical-based agents.
The human body needs certain beneficial strains of bacteria to properly digest and process food, and in contrast to antibiotic-based agents, compounds in soy are able to kill only the harmful bacteria, leaving the beneficial strains.
“Because of the selective specificity [by soy] towards inhibiting the pathogenic bacteria compared to beneficial bacteria, it will eliminate some of the health issues associated with the current synthetic-based food preservatives,” researcher Suresh Neethirajan told CBC.
The research team is also working on identifying the soybean varieties that are the most efficient at curbing bacterial growth so that growers can one day choose varieties toward this specific application.