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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Soya is an important source of a group of non-nutrients known as the phytoestrogens; compounds with structural and functional similarities to the natural oestrogenic hormones present in the body.

  • The Soya plant is an erect, hairy plant from 0.6 to 1.5m (2 to 5 ft) in height, with large trifoliate leaves, small white or purple flowers, and short pods with one to four seeds.

  • The seeds of the soya plant, which are almost spherical in shape, are usually light yellow, but some rare varieties are black, brown or green.

  • The soybean (U.S.) or soya bean (UK) (Glycine max) is a species of legume native to Eastern Asia. It is an annual plant that may vary in growth, habit, and height. It may grow prostrate, not growing higher than 20 cm (7.8 inches), or even stiffly erect up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) in height. The pods, stems, and leaves are covered with fine brown or gray pubescence.

Process

  • The soybeans are cracked to remove the hull and rolled into full-fat flakes. The rolling process disrupts the oil cell, facilitating solvent extraction of the oil. After the oil has been extracted, the solvent is removed and the flakes are dried, creating defatted soy flakes. The defatted soy flakes can be ground to produce soy flour, sized to produce soy grits or texturized to produce textured vegetable protein (TVP). The defatted flakes can be further processed to produce soy protein concentrates and isolated soy protein.

  • Early oil mill processing of soybeans were typically small scale operations using hydraulic and screw presses. Gradually, the screw press replaced the less efficient hydraulic press. Direct solvent extraction, referred to as "full" pressing or prepress-solvent extraction, can separate oil from soybeans.

  • Some crushing industries combine these extraction methods to maximize oil extraction and its quality. Solvent extraction is the most widely used method for oil extraction in the Western world. However, mechanical extraction is often preferred by small extraction plants throughout the world to remove the oil.

  •  The process of soya flour in three ways, soya milk, soya awara and soya daddawa. Steaming at 100oC inactivates the anti-nutritional factors in raw soya flour, thus rendering a maximum protein efficiency ratio.

Technology

  • The hydrolysate (2 h treatment at 80C and pH 7.4) from both soybean and lupin flour contained significantly decreased trypsin inhibitor activity and urease activity, and a reduced phytate content, which improved the overall protein quality.

  • The hydrolysis of soybean and lupin (ungerminated or germinated) powders was carried out using papain enzyme. Optimum hydrolysis conditions determined for papain using soy bean and lupin meals as substrates were enzyme: substrate ratio [E/S] = 0.03 g/g, pH 7.4 at 80C.

  • A small-scale soybean-processing technology has been developed that will produce both high-quality edible oil and protein meal for human consumption. This technology is attractive as an alternative to solvent extraction processing in India because it could facilitate the consumption of domestically produced protein-rich soy products and aid in alleviating the widespread protein malnutrition in the country. At present a high percentage of India's soy protein is exported in the form of animal feed and textured vegetable protein.

Market

  • Soybean oil will compete for a share of the emerging environmentally sensitive and renewable lubricant markets with other vegetable oils and with synthetic lubricants. 

  • Domestic livestock and meat production represents the single largest use of U.S. soybeans and, over the past three decades, export sales of U.S. meat have been the fastest growing utilization of U.S. meat. U.S. meat exports have become an important component of increased demand for U.S. soybeans and present a significant opportunity for future growth. 

  • Soybean oil is used in the production of alkyd resins, a primary constituent of oil-based or solvent-borne paints. Over 500 million pounds of alkyd resins are estimated to have been consumed by the paint industry. Approximately 130 million pounds of soybean oil the equivalent of 12.1 million bushels of soybeans were used to make these alkyd resins. Soybean oil competes in this market with other oils, particularly linseed oil and tall oils.

  • Soybeans are native to southeast Asia, but 45 percent of the world's soybean area, and 55 percent of production, is in the United States. The U.S. produced 75 million metric tons of soybeans in 2000, of which more than one-third was exported. Other leading producers are Brazil, Argentina, China, and India.

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