• Being an economic source of basic nutrition, soybean can combat the protein-energy malnutrition in the country. Besides, being rich in nutraceutical components like isoflavones, tocopherols and lecithin, use of soybean in daily diet can reduce the risk of numerous killer diseases viz. breast cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis. Despite these health-promoting virtues, of the total soybean produced in the country merely 5% is tapped for food uses. Apart from the poor awareness about the health benefits of soybean, off-flavour associated with soy products, presence of anti nutritional factor like trypsin inhibitor, flatulence-inducing components in soybean deter the use of soybean grains for food purpose. Directorate of Soybean in its crop improvement programme geared up its research programme in the development of food grade of soybean that could help in enhancement of utilization of the bean in the food uses.
  • Kunitz trypsin inhibitor free soybean: One of the easiest modes of availing health benefits of soybean across the country is making use of soy-fortified wheat flour for chapati making. For this purpose, soybean seeds (1 part) are recommended to be boiled for minimum 20 min to inactivate kunitz trypsin inhibitor followed by drying before mixing with 9 parts of wheat for grinding. At household level, this boiling step is time-consuming and is often ignored, while for the soy-food processing units it is cost-ineffective. At Directorate of Soybean, two kunitz trypsin inhibitor free genotypes viz. NRC101 (INGR10054) and NRC102 (INGR10055) soybean genotypes have been developed which do not require boiling to prepare soy-fortified flour for chapati making. The Directorate is also engaged in development of kunitz trypsin inhibitor free soybean varieties through Marker Assisted Selection for different agroclimatic zones in India.
  • Lipoxygenases free soybean varieties: To overcome the off-flavour associated with the soy products, development of lipoxygenases (the enzymes responsible for off-flavor producing aldehyde/ketone compounds) free genotypes is underway. Development of lipoxygenase-2, the principal contributor to off-flavour, free soybean genotype is in the advanced stage.
  • Vegetable-type soybean: Consumption of tender sweet green seeds of special type of soybean , known as vegetable soybean, bear great potential for bringing soybean into the Indian household similar to green pea and chick pea. Vegetable soybean is different from regular grain-type of soybean in taste, flavor, and texture. For the consumption, the pods are picked at a stage when the pod cavity is completely filled and the seeds and pod shell are still green in colour. Directorate has recently developed NRC105 (INGR10056) vegetable genotype for the table purpose.