Textured or texturized vegetable protein (TVP), also known as textured soy protein (TSP), soy meat, or soya chunks is a defatted soy flour product, a by-product of extracting soybean oil. It is often used as a meat analogue or meat extender. It is quick to cook, with a protein content far greater than that which comes from meat.
Textured vegetable protein is a versatile substance; different forms allow it to take on the texture of whatever ground meat it is substituting. Using TVP, one can make vegetarian or vegan versions of traditionally meat-based dishes, such as chili con carne, spaghetti bolognese, sloppy joes, tacos, burgers, or burritos.
Soy protein can also be used as a low cost/high nutrition extender in comminuted meat and poultry products, and in tuna salads. Food service, retail and institutional (primarily school lunch and correctional) facilities regularly use such "extended" products. Extension may result in diminished flavor, but fat and cholesterol are reduced.
Textured vegetable protein can be found in natural food stores and larger supermarkets, usually in the bulk section. TVP is also very lightweight and is often used in backpacking recipes. Because of its relatively low cost, high protein content, and long shelf life, TVP is often used in prisons and schools, as well as for disaster preparedness.