What is TVP

3 Reviews


TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is an excellent protein source that is easy to store and use. TVP is made from soy flour where the soy oil has been extracted. It is cooked under pressure and then extruded and dried. Not only is TVP high in protein, but its also high in fiber and low in fat. This makes TVP ideal for food storage and also for every day use. Because TVP is not made from meat, it does not have the contamination risk that many meats have with bacteria such as E. Coli and Salmonella. Because it is soy based, it is perfect for those on a vegetarian diet. 

TVP is very shelf stable and can sit in a sealed container for at least a year. When sealed in an airtight container (where the oxygen has been removed) the shelf life is much longer. TVP is best stored in a cool, dry place.


To reconstitute TVP, pour ¾ cup boiling water over 1 cup TVP and let stand for 5-10 minutes. It can also be added dry to dishes with adequate liquid such as soups or spaghetti sauce. The texture of TVP can be adjusted by the amount of liquid added, so you can experiment to find out just how you like it. 1 oz of TVP is equivalent to approximately 3 oz of meat. After rehydration, TVP should be treated like meat and must be refrigerated and eaten within a few days.


TVP is also very convenient for camping as it weighs very little and can be quickly rehydrated or added to dishes. It also makes a great quick dinner as you can make sloppy joes or tacos in under 15 minutes for much less than the cost of ground beef and with more nutrition. TVP is a very economical choice that provides the protein of meat without the fat or the mess that cooking and browning can create.




TVP is only a medium-term storage item


I am not a fan of TVP, not necessarily because if it's taste (which in an survival situation is fine), but because it has a relatively short shelf life compared to freeze-dried meats and standard beans.

If you buy one of these Thrive kits from Costco, they come with 20 cans of TVP. TVP has a shelf life of only 10 years. So you must eat slightly 2 cans of TVP every year (immediately, in non-crisis mode), and you'll be out of meat-like products in 10 years. It's not really tasty enough to want to eat it that much.

The real meat and bean option provides 25-30 years of shelf life (much more expensively for the meat part), and you probably like real meat and beans, so it's no big deal to eat two cans a year. And you can wait 15 years before you even need to dig in. That's better food storage in my opinion.

Six cans of TVP is probably that most I'd have in rotation by choice (though I have a dozen now thanks to the kits). And while I'm on the topic, I can't figure why they ever include Orange Drink with a three year shelf life in any kit - you need to start drinking it the day you get it.

TVP is good


I had a day care center and children with some special needs. I used dried beef flavor TVP mixed with oatmeal, egg, salt and pepper for hamburgers. NO meat eating child ever questioned the taste of the hamburgers.. They scoffed them all down!. Remember that many people are vegetarians.. The Seventh Day Adventist Church strongly espouses vegetarianism for its members. They have been eating Soy Analogs for years and years. IT is true that they don't smoke, drink alcohol, or caffeinated beverages also.. But they are amoung the healthiest and long-lived groups in America... along with LDS [Mormon]. I would not use TVP exclusively for all my meat replacements... beans and corn is a complete protein.. but several times a week or used to flavor bean dishes is a fantastic way to use this versatile product.

Soy in TVP

I am wanting to avoid GMO's in all my foods, and when I see either soy or corn on an ingredient list, I wonder what it's origins are. What is Shelf Reliances position on GMO's? How can I be sure that your products are free from them?