Improving the nutritional value of soybean Istvan Rajcan and Jocelyne Letarte, University of Guelph, Canada

1 Introduction

2 Soybean protein content and profile

3 Soybean oil profile

4 Tocopherols

5 Isoflavones

6 Saponins

7 Future trends and conclusion

8 References

The importance of soybean in many aspects of our society is now well established. It is a major source of protein and oil, and is therefore a prominent crop in the food industry, be it for animals or humans. Moreover, soybean is also being more recognized as a source of fuel and of biologically active compounds. In fact, eating soy products on a regular basis has been associated with a reduction of coronary diseases, diabetes, obesity and risk of cancer (Anderson et al. 1995; Zhang et al. 2003; Zhan and Ho 2005; Cena and Steinberg 2011). In addition to oil production and feed for animals, the worldwide consumer demand for soybean products has increased tremendously in the last twenty-five years and is likely to increase even more with the pressure to resolve the problem of malnutrition still pervasive in the developing countries (Hartman et al. 2011).