UAF Demonstrating New Soybean Varieties To Help Farmers

Southeast Asia was the first place where soybeans were introduced, followed by Europe in the 18th century and America in the 19th century.

UAF Demonstrating New Soybean Varieties To Help Farmers
Proteins from different sources have different amino acid compositions, which will affect their nutritional value in human diets, especially the essential amino acids. Soy protein has the highest PDCAAS score (1.0) among vegetable proteins and is equal to milk proteins (casein and whey protein) and egg protein, indicating that soy protein provides complete amino acids for human nutrition.

In ancient China, soybeans (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), commonly referred to as “Shu,” were grown alongside grains like rice, wheat, barley, and millet. China is where soybeans were first grown and have been for about 5000 years.

Southeast Asia was the first place where soybeans were introduced, followed by Europe in the 18th century and America in the 19th century. During the 1940s, soybeans emerged as one of America’s most significant economic crops.

With more than 35% of the global soybean production in  2011–2012, the United States is currently the leading soybean producer in the world. Soybean has been widely cultivated in the world, with a worldwide annual planting area of 102.77 million hm2 and a harvest of 239.36 t in 2011/2012, generating an economic impact of $114 billion for farmers around the world.

With a total harvest of 205.27 t in 2011/2012, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, and China are currently the top producers of soybeans, accounting for 86% of global production. The global production of soybeans has increased over the past 11 years. The oil and protein in soybeans are the two main commercial interests.

The content of soybeans varies according to variety, geography, climate, and agricultural techniques. According to the USDA nutritional database, mature, dry soybeans generally include 8.5% moisture, 36.5% protein, 19.9% fat, and 9.3% dietary fiber.

On a dry weight basis, soybeans have more than 60% protein and fat. Soybean oil was the primary purpose of commercial soybean production before the recent surge in interest in soybean protein.

According to a USDA report, soybean oil is the world’s second-largest vegetable oil producer, with a total global production of 42.92 million in 2012/2013, trailing only palm oil’s 55.29 million.

Soybean oil has a total fatty acid composition of 57.7% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 22.8% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 15.6% saturated fatty acids. Long-term attention has been paid to the importance of fat in human diets, and several scientific studies have examined the effects of consuming various forms of fat on human health.

The expert panel recommends consuming less than 10% of calories from saturated fat and replacing it with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat, which is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, in the recent release of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Soybean oil has a high level of unsaturated fatty acids and a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, both considered healthy fats. Soybean oil contains alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid), which is an essential fatty acid for human nutrition because it cannot be synthesized by humans.

Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods can provide numerous health benefits, including a reduction in cardiac deaths. As more about soybeans is understood, the focus has shifted to its other components in the past few decades, especially the protein. Protein provides amino acids for human diets.

Wheat gluten, another popular plant protein found in vegetarian diets, only has a PDCAAS score of 0.25. Unlike other proteins, the health benefits of soybean  protein go far beyond just providing amino acids. Several studies on this topic have been conducted over the last few decades.

For instance, Anderson et al. analyzed 37 studies and concluded that soy protein consumption significantly reduced serum concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides compared to animal protein consumption.

Much research was being done on its mechanisms. Based on all available scientific information, the FDA issued a final determination on Protein Technologies International’s petition regarding a soy protein health claim on October 26, 1999.

According to the conclusion, a diet that includes 25 g of soy protein per day and is low in saturated fat and cholesterol may lower the risk of heart disease. In the decision, FAD suggested that for the soy food to be eligible for this health claim, each serving should have 6.25 g of soy protein.

This is the most important event in the soybean growing and processing industries in the last decade. Since the FDA approved soy health claims, numerous studies have shown a link between soy product consumption and a lower risk of CHD.

Anderson et al. reviewed 43 studies from 1996 to 2008 and concluded that consuming a median of 30 g of soy protein per day significantly improves the lipoprotein risk factor for CHD. However, there are some concerns about the health benefits of soy protein.  The American Heart Association Science Advisory Panel reviewed 22 studies in 2006 and discovered that isolated soy protein with isoflavones has little effect on lowering LDL.

Although the findings do not agree with other studies, the panel still believes that soy products are beneficial to cardiovascular and overall health due to their high content of polyunsaturated fats, fibers, vitamins, and minerals and low content of saturated fat. With a better understanding of soy protein’s health benefits and increasing consumer acceptance, soy product use has expanded to a much larger market.

In 2000, the USDA approved the use of some soy products in the school lunch program. This set a milestone in the soy industry because it was the first time soy products could be used as 100% of the serving in the USDA school lunch program rather than as an additive. According to a study conducted at a middle school in Maryland, USA, students accept soy-based products just as well as other popular school lunch items.

The USDA approved tofu and soy yoghurts as a credit for meat/meat alternative components in school meal planning in February 2012. Based on the findings, soy products can play an important and positive role in improving our health if they are included in our diet, though much remains unknown, particularly the mechanisms.

Comments are closed.