Master plant: Glycine max L. MERR.
Fabaceae (Pea family)
INCI: Glycine soja
Soybean is cultivated mainly as fodder plant, vegetable and for oil production.
This pea family member probably stems from a native East Asiatic, very similar wild species (Glycine soja SIEB. & ZUCC.).
Characteristics and substances:
Soy beans yield a low viscosity, pale yellow oil by cold-pressing and subsequent mild refining. Soybean oil has a neutral taste and smell.
Alpha-linolenic acid (8%), linoleic acid (57%), oleic acid (22%), saturated fatty acids (15%), vitamin E and plenty of natural lecithine are among its components. Soybean oil is a drying, but very vitamin-packed oil.
Soybean oil ranks first in worldwide production of vegetable oils for food applications (as edible oil and raw material for margarine production).
In the pharmaceutical industry emulsions with soybean oil are used as intravenous infusions for total parenteral nutrition; also as bathing additive to treat dry skin. More traditional applications are protein diets (muscle building) and ?food for the nerves? (associated with deficiency in concentration).
Its lipid-lowering features make it suitable for dietetic applications such as light forms of lipometabolism disorder (increased cholesterol levels) as well as for diseases of the liver and to prevent gall stones.