4 min read

Soy Protein vs. Soy Protein Isolate

Soy; it’s vegan, sustainable, and within all of our wonderful complete nutrition shakes, oh-so-delicious! But how is Soy Protein different from Soy Protein Isolate?

Short and sweet: Soy protein isolate is soy protein, but soy protein isn’t soy isolate. 

Soy protein is a word that could describe anything from soy milk to tofu to miso and beyond; it’s used broadly to describe food made from soybeans. On the other hand, soy protein isolate is the isolated protein from the soybean that is engineered to create a higher quality of protein.

In other words, soy protein isolate ditches everything that makes up a soybean aside from the protein building blocks called amino acids, whereas soy protein is anything made with soybeans.

Soy protein isolate is the ingredient we use in Soylent as a source of protein, helping us in our mission to create a complete, sustainable, and nutrition-packed drink.

The difference between soy protein and soy protein isolate by Soylent

How Are Soy Protein and Soy Protein Isolate Different?

Soybeans are a great source of plant-based protein for more reasons than just their nutritional value; more on that here. Soy is a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids required by your body to function properly. 

Whether you’re eating soy foods or soy protein isolate, you’ll get access to the health benefits of eating high protein foods. The main differences between eating soy foods and foods made with soy protein isolate are taste, texture, and overall nutritional composition.


Why does soy protein isolate help us deliver on taste? Soybean protein isolate allows us to provide a taste experience that would be difficult to achieve with whole soybeans or other plant proteins

Soy protein isolate has a subtle flavor that can easily be overcome when combined with other natural flavors. This lack of taste lets us create flavors like Strawberry, Chocolate, and Cafe Mocha without compromise.

Soy protein has a slightly more earthy flavor that comes from being a legume. Although soy has a delicious taste, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and might not be something you find as enjoyable when incorporated into your meals.

Product image of Soylent chocolate.


Soy protein isolate comes in a powdered form with better solubility than other plant proteins. With a finer texture, soy protein allows for a smooth mouthfeel and it mixes particularly well with liquids.

You can effortlessly combine soy protein isolate with liquid solutions and food recipes while retaining a smooth consistency, making it super versatile and easy to incorporate into your diet.

Nutritional Composition

While both soy protein and soy protein isolate are incredible protein sources, one offers protein more compactly and efficiently. Soy protein isolate is stripped of anything that’s not protein, meaning that although you’re losing out on carbohydrates and fiber, you’re gaining a higher quality of protein.

Soy protein concentrate powders (defatted soy powders) are about 65 percent protein, and soy protein isolate powders are 90 percent protein. This means that by using isolate rather than concentrate, you can get more protein in the same amount of powder.

Person placing shaker ball in shaker bottle

The Soy in Soylent

Soy protein isolate checks all of our boxes. By using clean soy protein isolate, Soylent can achieve the taste, texture, nutritional value, and sustainable standards we uphold for ourselves. 

We’re proud to only use sustainable US-grown soy, which is far more eco-conscious than other plant protein sources and even soy grown elsewhere in the world. The fact that the main ingredient in our product doesn’t travel halfway across the world to reach our manufacturers significantly reduces our overall environmental impact. 

You can rest assured knowing that the soy in Soylent was grown in the United States, is compliant with all U.S. environmental regulations, protects highly erodible soils and wetlands, and was grown on family farms with responsible labor practices.

To learn more about our mission and all of the decisions that got us to where we are today, check out the Soylent website and blog. There’s so much more to learn about us, you, and the world!