Food Guts - Ingredient Information

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Soy on Wikipedia:

``Soy`` redirects here. For other uses, see Soy (disambiguation). Soybean Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Phylum: Magnoliophyta Class: Magnoliopsida Order: Fabales Family: Fabaceae Subfamily: Faboideae Genus: Glycine Species: G. max Binomial name Glycine max (L.) Merr.

The soybean (U.S.) or soya bean (UK) (commonly misspelled ``Soyabean``) (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. The plant is sometimes referred to as greater bean (China - 大豆 dàdòu) or edamame (Japan), though the latter is more commonly used in English when referring to a specific dish. In Vietnam, the plant is called đậu tương or đậu nành.

The English word ``soy`` is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of shōyu (醤油, しょうゆ?), the Japanese word for Soya sauce; soya comes from the Dutch adaptation of the same word.

Fat-free(defatted) soybean meal is a primary, relatively low-cost, source of protein for animal feeds or rations; soy vegetable oil is another valuable product of processing the soybean crop. Soybean products such as TVP (textured vegetable protein), for example, are important ingredients in many meat and dairy analogues; and very safe in combination with ground beef,etc.[1]

Traditional nonfermented food uses of soybeans include soymilk, and from the latter Tofu and tofu skin or yuba. Fermented foods include shoyu or soy sauce, miso, natto, tempeh, Ketjap[2] among others. The oil is used in many industrial applications. The main producers of soy are the United States (32%), Brazil (28%), Argentina (21%), China (7%) and India (4%).[3][4] The beans contain significant amounts of phytic acid, alpha-Linolenic acid, and the isoflavones genistein and daidzein.



Varieties of soybeans are used for many purposes.

The genus name Glycine was originally introduced by Carl Linnaeus (1737) in his first edition of Genera Plantarum. The word glycine is derived from the Greek - glykys (sweet) and likely refers to the sweetness of the pear-shaped (apios in Greek) edible tubers produced by the native North American twining or climbing herbaceous legume, Glycine apios, now known as Apios americana. The cultivated soybean first appeared in Species Plantarum, by Linnaeus, under the name Phaseolus max L. The combination Glycine max (L.) Merr., as proposed by Merrill in 1917, has become the valid name for this useful plant.

The genus Glycine Willd. is divided into two subgenera, Glycine and Soja. The subgenus Soja (Moench) F.J. Herm. includes the cultivated soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr., and the wild soybean, Glycine soja Sieb. & Zucc. Both species are annual. Glycine soja is the wild ancestor of Glycine max and grows wild in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Russia.[5] The subgenus Glycine consists of at least 16 wild perennial species: for example, Glycine canescens F.J. Herm. and G. tomentella Hayata, both found in Australia and Papua New Guinea.[6][7]

Like some other crops of long domestication, the relationship of the modern soybean to wild-growing species can no longer be traced with any degree of certainty. It is a cultural variety with a very large number of cultivars.

Description and physical characteristics

Soy varies in growth, habit, and height. It may grow not higher than 20 cm (7.8 inches), or grow up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) high.

The pods, stems, and leaves are covered with fine brown or gray hairs. The leaves are trifoliolate, having 3 to 4 leaflets per leaf, and the leaflets are 6–15 cm (2–6 inches) long and 2–7 cm (1–3 inches) broad. The leaves fall before the seeds are mature. The inconspicuous, self-fertile flowers are borne in the axil of the leaf and are white, pink or purple.

Small, purple soybean flowers.

The fruit is a hairy pod that grows in clusters of 3–5, each pod is 3–8 cm long(1–3 inches) and usually contains 2–4 (rarely more) seeds 5–11 mm in diameter.

Soybeans occur in various sizes, and in many hull or seed coat colors, including black, brown, blue, yellow, green and mottled. The hull of the mature bean is hard, water resistant, and protects the cotyledon and hypocotyl (or ``germ``) from damage. If the seed coat is cracked, the seed will not germinate. The scar, visible on the seed coat, is called the hilum (colors include black, brown, buff, gray and yellow) and at one end of the hilum is the micropyle, or small opening in the seed coat which can allow the absorption of water for sprouting.

Remarkably, seeds such as soybeans containing very high levels of protein can undergo desiccation yet survive and revive after water absorption. A. Carl Leopold, son of Aldo Leopold, began studying this capability at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University in the mid 1980s. He found soybeans and corn to have a range of soluble carbohydrates protecting the seed's cell viability.[8] Patents were awarded to him in the early 1990s on techniques for protecting ``biological membranes`` and proteins in the dry state. Compare to tardigrades.

Chemical composition of the seed

Soybean, mature seeds, raw Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy 1,866 kJ (446 kcal) Carbohydrates 30.16 g Sugars 7.33 g Dietary fiber 9.3 g Fat 19.94 g saturated 2.884 g monounsaturated 4.404 g polyunsaturated 11.255 g Protein 36.49 g Tryptophan 0.591 g Threonine 1.766 g Isoleucine 1.971 g Leucine 3.309 g Lysine 2.706 g Methionine 0.547 g Cystine 0.655 g Phenylalanine 2.122 g Tyrosine 1.539 g Valine 2.029 g Arginine 3.153 g Histidine 1.097 g Alanine 1.915 g Aspartic acid 5.112 g Glutamic acid 7.874 g Glycine 1.880 g Proline 2.379 g Serine 2.357 g Water 8.54 g Vitamin A equiv. 1 μg (0%) Vitamin B6 0.377 mg (29%) Vitamin B12 0 μg (0%) Vitamin C 6.0 mg (10%) Vitamin K 47 μg (45%) Calcium 277 mg (28%) Iron 15.70 mg (126%) Magnesium 280 mg (76%) Phosphorus 704 mg (101%) Potassium 1797 mg (38%) Sodium 2 mg (0%) Zinc 4.89 mg (49%) Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient database

Together, oil and protein content account for about 60% of dry soybeans by weight; protein at 40% and oil at 20%. The remainder consists of 35% carbohydrate and about 5% ash. Soybean cultivars comprise approximately 8% seed coat or hull, 90% cotyledons and 2% hypocotyl axis or germ.

Most soy protein is a relatively heat-stable storage protein. This heat stability enables soy food products requiring high temperature cooking, such as tofu, soy milk and textured vegetable protein (soy flour) to be made.

The principal soluble carbohydrates of mature soybeans are the disaccharide sucrose (range 2.5–8.2%), the trisaccharide raffinose (0.1–1.0%) composed of one sucrose molecule connected to one molecule of galactose, and the tetrasaccharide stachyose (1.4 to 4.1%) composed of one sucrose connected to two molecules of galactose. While the oligosaccharides raffinose and stachyose protect the viability of the soy bean seed from desiccation (see above section on physical characteristics) they are not digestible sugars and therefore contribute to flatulence and abdominal discomfort in humans and other monogastric animals; compare to the disaccharide trehalose. Undigested oligosaccharides are broken down in the intestine by native microbes producing gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane.

Since soluble soy carbohydrates are found in the whey and are broken down during fermentation, soy concentrate, soy protein isolates, tofu, soy sauce, and sprouted soy beans are without flatus activity. On the other hand, there may be some beneficial effects to ingesting oligosaccharides such as raffinose and stachyose, namely, encouraging indigenous bifidobacteria in the colon against putrefactive bacteria.

The insoluble carbohydrates in soybeans consist of the complex polysaccharides cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin. The majority of soybean carbohydrates can be classed as belonging to dietary fiber.


Further information: Soy protein

For human consumption, soybeans must be cooked with ``wet`` heat in order to destroy the trypsin inhibitors (serine protease inhibitors). It is not advisable to eat raw soybeans.

Soybeans are considered by many agencies to be a source of complete protein.[9] A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body because of the body's inability to synthesize them. For this reason, soy is a good source of protein, amongst many others, for vegetarians and vegans or for people who want to reduce the amount of meat they eat. According to the US Food and Drug Administration:

Soy protein products can be good substitutes for animal products because, unlike some other beans, soy offers a 'complete' protein profile. ... Soy protein products can replace animal-based foods—which also have complete proteins but tend to contain more fat, especially saturated fat—without requiring major adjustments elsewhere in the diet.[9]

However, as with many dietary health claims, there are opposing viewpoints on the health benefits of soybeans.[10][11]

The gold standard for measuring protein quality, since 1990, is the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) and by this criterion soy protein is the nutritional equivalent of meat, eggs, and casein for human growth and health. Soybean protein isolate has a biological value of 74, whole soybeans 96, soybean milk 91, and eggs 97.[12]

Soy protein is essentially identical to that of other legume seeds.[13] Moreover, it has the highest yield per square meter of growing area, and is the least expensive source of dietary protein.[citation needed]

Consumption of soy may also reduce the risk of colon cancer, possibly due to the presence of sphingolipids.[14]


Soybean output in 2005 Top Soybean Producers in 2006 (million metric tons)  United States 87.7  Brazil 52.4  Argentina 40.4