Oilseed Industry in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities

The most important countries of the world with the highest rate of soybean production include the USA, Brazil, Argentina, China, and India.

Oilseed Industry in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities

The word “soy” originated as a corruption of the Cantonese or Japanese names for soy sauce (Chinese: 豉油; Jyutping: si6jau4; Cantonese Yale: sihyàuh) (Japanese: 醤油, shōyu). A species of legume native to East Asia, the soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (Glycine max) is extensively cultivated for its edible bean, which has a variety of uses.

The most important countries of the world with the highest rate of soybean production include the USA, Brazil, Argentina, China, and India.

Soybeans are a highly valuable crop for several reasons. As legumes, they “fix” nitrogen, reducing the need for nitrogen fertilizers. An excellent source of protein, soybeans are also richer in oil than most legumes, making them a good source for vegetable oil and biofuels.

Soybeans and soy foods may reduce the risk of a range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, coronary heart disease (CHD), and some cancers, as well as improving bone health. Soy is a high-quality protein, and one or two daily servings of soy products can be beneficial to our health.

The high-protein fiber that remains after soybean oil is removed is toasted and prepared into animal feed for poultry, pork, cattle, fish, and pets. Over half of the soybeans processed for livestock feed are fed to poultry. Soybeans are 18% oil and 38% protein.

The remainder of soymeal is used to make some soy foods like tofu and soy milk. The soybean oil that remains after processing out the meal has many uses including cooking oil, biodiesel and bioheat, and non-toxic industrial supplies like paints and cleaners.

Soybean’s clean, natural taste and nearly imperceptible odour support and enhance the natural flavours of prepared foods. Soybeans neutral flavour lets the real taste of the food product come through.

Adaptable to nearly every fat or application in the food industry, soybeans work well with other ingredients, including other fats and oils, making them very suitable for use in salad dressings, sauces, and baked goods. Soybeans can turn two ounces of olive oil into a whole pint of flavouring for salad dressings.

The distinctive aroma of olive oil will be evident, even though the bulk of the dressing’s components come from inexpensive soybeans.

Compared to other vegetable oils, soybean, a species of legume native to East Asia, has a good emulsifying ability, making it the first choice of the general food industry. Moreover, soybeans are very important for human life because they are helpful in dealing with many body diseases like diabetes, improved blood circulation, and aids. Soybean is rich in folic acid and vitamin B complexes, which are very essential for pregnant women.

Soybean is also a major oilseed crop. Soybean oil is a vegetable oil that’s extracted from the seeds of the soybean plant. Between 2018 and 2019, around 62 million tons (56 million metric tons) of soybean oil were produced around the globe, making it one of the most common cooking oils available.

It’s also incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of cooking methods, including frying, baking, etc. Most baked breads, cookies, crackers, pies, and cakes contain soy oil. Soybean oil can be converted to biodiesel fuel with a process called “transesterification”.

This eco-friendly fuel has proven to burn cleaner than traditional petroleum-based fuels. Soybean oil has a relatively high smoke point, which makes it a good option for high-heat cooking. Soybean oil mostly consists of polyunsaturated fats, which are linked to lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Soybean oil is rich in vitamin E, a nutrient that can help promote skin health. Applying it topically may protect against inflammation and help the skin retain moisture.

Soya bean was recognised as a popular crop for intercropping with sugar cane, an ideal combination of an exhaustive and restorative crop. Its cultivation in Pakistan peaked in 1990, but then it started to decline gradually and almost disappeared from our fields by 2010.

Soya bean is a short duration crop, maturing in 90 to 120 days, depending on the seed variety and weather. It also fits well in our existing cropping system without clashing with major crops.

The cultivation of soya beans after exhaustive crops (wheat, rice, and cotton) also helps restore the soil’s fertility and health for the next exhaustive crop because soya beans capture nitrogen from the air and store it in the soil.

As the soya bean can help cut edible oil imports to a significant extent, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research needs to launch a massive information drive at federal level in close coordination with provincial agricultural departments and oilseed boards.