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Using our proteins, we help our customers achieve the taste, mouthfeel functionality and nutrition profiles their customers want. 

Proteins play a central role in living organisms, participating in every process within cells. In food, they are an important nutritional source — supplying the body with essential amino acids it needs and cannot synthesize on its own.

Cargill supplies GluVital™ vital wheat gluten, ProwLiz™ Hydrolyzed wheat proteins and soy proteins and is a leader in both full-fat and defatted soy protein products. Cargill proteins offer more than the economic advantages that vegetable proteins have over animal protein.

Our proteins are used in beverages, bakery, dairy and meat applications.

Vital wheat gluten

Brand: GluVital™ vital wheat gluten
GluVital™ vital wheat gluten (protein derived from wheat flour) is one of our Cargill’s main ingredients that provides consistency in flour, improved dough machinability and extended shelf life for finished products. It is most commonly used in pastas and bread, but also in snacks & cereals. GluVital™ is organic.


Hydrolyzed wheat proteins

Brand: ProwLiz™ Hydrolyzed wheat proteins
ProwLiz™ Hydrolyzed wheat protein is produced with a consistent quality that meets high food quality standards. ProwLizT™ Hydrolyzed wheat protein results in a very attractive solution in a large panel of food applications.

Soy proteins

Cargill soy proteins provide added functions for a variety of food systems such as:

  • Fat / water binding
  • Emulsification
  • Texture / structure improvement
  • Viscosity building
  • Shelf-life extension

Our soy protein products are used in almost every food category, from bakery to meat, dairy, beverages and more. Soy protein is also important in many non-food and industrial categories such as adhesives, fermentation and feed applications.

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Soy Protein Functionality

The multiple functional properties of soy proteins make soy the preferred vegetable protein for food applications — a cost-effective and high-quality protein ingredient.

The functional properties of soy proteins depend on factors related to their physical and chemical properties. Understanding these properties requires detailed knowledge of the nature and structure of soy protein itself.

For example, functionality is affected by intrinsic factors (e.g. basic composition of the soybean), environmental factors (e.g. pH, salts, carbohydrates, lipids), and different processing treatments.

Protein Dispersability Index (PDI)*

This guide to functionality in soy protein products measures the level of protein that is soluble or suspended in water. Cargill Texturizing Solutions offer soy flour in four PDI designations:

90 PDI** – Minimal heat treatment, enzyme active.
Functions: crumb whitening, dough conditioning in bakery applications.

50 & 70 PDI** – Light heat treatment.
Functions: water absorption/retention; fat repulsion; protein enhancement; improved cell structure for baked goods, breads, pancakes, donuts, tortillas, bagels.

20 PDI** – Full heat treatment.
Functions: water absorption/retention; flavor and protein enhancement.

(*) standard AOCS method for measuring heat treatment in soy processing

(**) Produced in the U.S.

Structure of Protein

Proteins are highly complex organic compounds found in all living cells and comprisingthe most abundant class of all biological molecules. They are large molecules with high molecular weights, composed of varying amounts of amino acids, which in the intact protein are united through covalent chemical linkages called peptide bonds.

A protein with a molecular weight of 100.000 would contain about 850 amino acid residues. At least 20 of these amino acids are present in both plant and animal proteins. Amino acids are classified as essential (including dispensable), and conditionally essential (conditionally indispensable).

The amino acids, linked together, form linear unbranched polymeric structures called polypeptide chains. Such chains may contain hundreds of amino-acid residues, arranged in specific order for a given protein.

Reaction of amino acids to form a peptide bond




Depending on the source, the protein has a different structure and combination of amino acids in its chemical make-up. Every protein molecule has a characteristic, three-dimensional shape or confirmation that determines its properties.



Manufacturing process

The processing of soybeans starts with cleaning, cracking and dehulling. Cracked soybeans are rolled into full-fat flakes, which provide the basis for ground and powdered full-fat flour.

When oil is removed from full-fat soy flakes using solvent extraction, de-fatted soy flakes remain. These are the basis of a number of specialty functional ingredients such as soy flour, soy protein concentrate and soy protein isolate.

As an ingredient, the most elementary form of soy protein is soy flour. It has the highest level of protein:

  • Full-fat soy flour contains 40% protein
  • Defatted soy flour typically has 50 percent protein

While more heat treatment usually means less functionality, new enzymatic and fermentation technologies now allow major modifications of protein properties.


Some Cargill products are only approved for use in certain geographies, end uses, and/or at certain usage levels. It is the customer's responsibility to determine, for a particular geography, that (i) the Cargill product, its use and usage levels, (ii) the customer's product and its use, and (iii) any claims made about the customer's product, all comply with applicable laws and regulations.