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The soybean is a truly amazing and versatile crop plant. It is one of the oldest food plants, domesticated by 1100 BC in northeastern China. Its ancestor is a wild vine-like plant that produces tiny, hard seeds that are useless for food unless properly prepared.

Over the next several hundred years the domesticated soybean (called Glycine max by botanists) spread throughout much of eastern Asia. It grew upright and yielded larger, more digestible seeds. A variety of foods was developed from the soybean, ranging from soybean sprouts to steamed raw beans to roasted seeds to soy milk to soy sauce to fermented soybean paste and cake to soy flour to the commonly eaten curd called tofu (or doufu). soybean contains practically no starch, so its use in diabetic diets began. Later its high protein content was recognized.

Modern Uses of Soybeans

In the early 1900s the first processing of seeds for oil and meal was done in England. For the most part, soybeans were a neglected crop until World War II. Germany developed a soy oil lard substitute and a meat substitute. In the U.S. increasing amounts of soybean meal were used as livestock and poultry feed, especially after 1945, when consumption of meat increased dramatically.

More recently, an increasing proportion of American soybean production has been used by the food processing industry—in such foods as margarine, shortening, ice cream, salad dressings and mayonnaise. Industry uses lesser amounts, in products including paint, ink, putty, caulking, wallpaper, rubber substitutes, adhesives, fire extinguisher foam, electrical insulation and gasoline. The versatile soybean is a part of everyone’s life in developed countries.

At present, most soybeans (over three-fourths of the world supply) are grown in the United States (especially in the corn belt and Mississippi Valley), in Brazil and Argentina. China produces most of the soybeans grown in the Orient, while only a few are grown in Europe. In the U.S., the soybean is third in production (corn and wheat are first and second) and second in value (corn is first) of crops grown.

Uses Of Soya

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Soya Tofu

Tofu is made from soybean curds. It is naturally gluten-free and low in calories. It contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of iron and calcium.

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Soya Milk

Soy milk is a plant-based nondairy beverage, often consumed as an alternative to milk. It's made from soybeans. Soy milk offers culinary diversity

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Soya Chaap

Soya Chaap is a kind of mock meat or vegetarian/vegan meat prepared with soybean chunks and flour.This is called soya chaap.

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Soya Shrikhand

Shrikhand is an indigenous sour fermented milk product of India.Shrikhand was prepared from soy milk and different blends of soy milk and dairy milk.