Plant extraction from vegetables and its applications in the food industry
The most common vegetable extract that is taken for discussion here is the bean curd
Not everyone will accept bean curd as a vegetable ‘extract’. However, the reason for considering that as a plant extraction is due to the analogy of the milk curd extract from the milk.
Called by several names in different countries, the most common name is tofu or bean curd as it is called in most of the East and South East Asian countries.
Its origin dates back to over 2,000 years in olden day China. It is currently widely eaten as a common food in countries like China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Japan and Korea, to name a few. It is considered as the main source of protein and sometimes it is a replacement for meat. The Indian form of this Tofu, which is in its hardened form, is called as soya chunks.
Made from soya, the process of making this soya curd is an art. It can be very soft like silk or hard like elastic. However, each variety has its own taste. The soya beans or the grains are soaked in water, grounded to make paste like content, which is then made to coagulate for the curd to separate out. This curd is either pressed to form cakes, either dry or wet. Or it is left in its soft texture for usage in the immediate cooking food. Tofu is one of the widely used plant extraction in some region, where these are considered similar to staple foods. This plant extraction comes in various forms such as fresh or dried or silken tofu, each one having its own taste and flavor. Even though there are many similar extracts from the vegetables of the plants, tofu has its own special place in terms of nutritional capabilities and the taste.