Soy yogurt (sometimes called soya yoghurt, soygurt, soyogurt or yofu) is not a real yogurt but don't let that put you off this excellent product.
It is a non-dairy product made from soy milk, but it is made the same way as regular yogurt using the same starters.
It can be a good source of probiotics and lactic acid bacteria for people who are lactose intolerant.
Soy yogurt is made by fermenting soy milk with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. The soy sugars stachyose and raffinose are fermented by the bacteria into lactic acid, lowering the pH of the yogurt to around 4.0 which prevents the growth of food poisoning bacteria.
The average nutritional values of soy yogurt per 100g are energy 59 kcal(245kJ), protein 4.7g, fat 2.7g and carbohydrate 3.2g.
Wildwood's make a completely unsweetened soy yogurt which they advertise as being "the only unsweetened plain soyogurt available." The unsweetened contains 4g of sugar and 110 calories per serve compare with their vanilla flavor which contains 21g of sugar and 160 calories.
Providing the soy yogurt is made in the conventional way you will get the 2 standard starters, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. After that, you get what the manufacturers adds or if you make your own what comes in through your starter yogurt.
You can use Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter to make soy yogurt.
The soybean contains high amounts of protein and substantial amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins (the water soluble thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, inositol and choline, and the fat-soluble vitamins A and E), minerals (potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and phosphorus) and phytochemicals useful for the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases.
Soy isoflavones are believed to have a powerful beneficial effect on health. As well, no other food contains as much of these chemicals as the soybean.The major isoflavones in soybeans are genistein, daidzein and glycitein. Some experts believe that genistein is able to prevent or treat certain cancers. Isoflavones are also sometimes referred to as phytoestrogens because they have a similar chemical make-up to estrogen although they are about one thousandth times weaker.
Whilst soy products are usually considered healthy there have been a few links to undesirable things such as low sperm count in men and allergies. You can read the latest findings in this Review
You can buy soy yogurt and most of the brands have similar lactic acid bacteria in them. Vegans need to watch out for whether the cultures used are made from dairy free source.
Stoneyfield make a soy yogurt, O'Soy, but it is not suitable for vegans. It contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium bifidus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Silk Life (suitable vegan yogurt) also have a product which contains the yogurt cultures L acidophilus, L bulgaricus, L casei, L rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Whole Soy & Co - (vegan) live vegan cultures including L acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
Wildwood (vegan) Soyogurt. L acidophilus, L bulgaricus, L casei, L lactis, L rhamnosus, S thermophilus, B bifidum, . Their plain yogurt is completely unsweetened if that is what you are looking for. Made in a nut free, gluten free, dairy free environment.
Nancy's (vegan) L acidophilus, L bulgaricus, L casei, rhamnosus, Bifidobacteria bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus.
Olympic (Canada) make Soyogurt - Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp bulgaricus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp lactis ,L paracasei subsp casei, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Turtle Mountain make So Delicious Dairy Free (vegan) which contains L bulgaricus, L plantarum, L rhamnosus, L paracasei, Bifidobacteria lactis and S thermophilus.Lactobacillus bulgaricus is more properly named Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp bulgaricus.