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Know your Soya bean

Know your Soya bean - Introduction

  • The soya bean (UK) or soybean (U.S.) (Glycine max) is a species of legume native to East Asia. 
  • The plant is classed as an oilseed rather than a pulse. 
  • It is an annual plant that has been used in China for 5,000 years to primarily add nitrogen into the soil as part of crop rotation.

Know your Soya bean - Uses

  • Fat-free (defatted) soya bean meal is a primary, low-cost, source of protein for animal feeds and most prepackaged meals; soya vegetable oil is another valuable product of processing the soya bean crop. 
  • Soya bean products such as TVP (textured vegetable protein), for example, are important ingredients in many meat and dairy analogues.
  • Traditional nonfermented food uses of soya beans include soya milk, and from the latter Tofu and tofu skin or yuba. 
  • Fermented foods include shoyu or soy sauce, miso, natto, and tempeh, among others. 
  • The oil is used in many industrial applications. 

Know your Soya bean - Distribution

  • The main producers of soya are the United States (32%), Brazil (28%), Argentina (21%), China (7%) and India (4%).

Know your Soya bean - Nutrition

  • The beans contain significant amounts of phytic acid, alpha-Linolenic acid, and the isoflavones genistein and daidzein.
  • Soya beans can produce at least twice as much protein per acre than any other major vegetable or grain crop, 5 to 10 times more protein per acre than land set aside for grazing animals to make milk, and up to 15 times more protein per acre than land set aside for meat production.
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