What is TVP?

Written by The Ready Store

You might have noticed while shopping for food storage that you have come across cans of meat TVP and others without the TVP distinction. For example, Saratoga Farms offers a Freeze-dried Ground Beef but they also offer a Beef Crumble TVP. What’s the difference?

Sloppy Joe TVP

What is TVP?
TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein. Basically, TVP is high-fiber, high-protein meat substitute. It’s made from soy flour after the soybean oil has been extracted. It is cooked under pressure and dried. You might have also seen TVP being called Textured Soy Flour (TSF).

Another major difference is that TVP is dehydrated instead of freeze-dried. So, when you prepare the TVP you will need to cook it for a bit before it’s ready to eat.

Uses of TVP
You’re probably more familiar with TVP than you realize. TVP is used on a wide scale at restaurants and in public schools. The TVP is rehydrated and has a great shelf-life, so many companies use it for the benefit of storage and shipping.

You’ve probably seen TVP on pizza toppings, as bacon bits, in sloppy joes and more!

TVPBenefits of TVP
TVP is more affordable. Since cuts of meat can be pretty expensive, this is a great substitute that doesn’t lack for taste. You get the similar taste for less price.

It’s easy to prepare. All you have to do is add water to the TVP, simmer it for a few minutes and it’s ready to use in your family’s favorite recipes. You can also substitute it in meals by just adding a bit more water and letting it simmer for a few minutes longer.

Substitute for diets. TVP is a great substitute for vegetarians or people on a Kosher diet.

Would you rather have meat?
Higher level of protein. While TVP is a great substitute for protein, if you compare a cup of TVP to a cup of meat, the regular freeze-dried meat will have more protein in it.

Less sodium. Since salt and other flavoring is added to the TVP to make it taste good, more often than not they have higher sodium levels.

Less soy. TVP will have higher soy levels than meat. If you are on a low-soy diet or want to avoid soy, meats will be a better choice.

Updated March 30, 2012


  1. susan wrote:

    We grew up in ‘meat and potato’ families, but meat is now expensive and eating meat alone is not the best for our health. I always keep TVP on hand and often add it while cooking. It helps stretch the meat and no one even realizes it’s in the dishes I make. TVP makes a great addition to meatloaves, tacos, chili, sloppy joes, meatballs, or is anything seasoned. It keeps forever, needs no refrigeration, takes very little space, and is healthy. Since its cost is so little, I’d suggest everyone buy some and experiment with it. It just may become a staple in your pantry too.

    April 3rd, 2012 at 4:02 am
  2. Hillybilly Jim wrote:

    You had me worried… I thought “TVP” stood for “Tennessee Valley ‘Possum”.

    April 3rd, 2012 at 8:02 am

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