Botanical name: Glycine max Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Dolichos sofa, Phaseolus max, Soja soja
Soya bean is a legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses. Soy varies in growth and habit. The height of the plant varies from less than 0.2 to 2.0 m. The pods, stems, and leaves are covered with fine brown or gray hairs. The leaves are trifoliolate, having three to four leaflets per leaf, and the leaflets are 6-15 cm long and 2-7 cm broad. The leaves fall before the seeds are mature. The inconspicuous, self-fertile flowers are borne in the axil of the leaf and are white, pink or purple. The fruit is a hairy pod that grows in clusters of three to five, each pod is 3-8 cm long and usually contains two to four (rarely more) seeds 5-11 mm in diameter. For human consumption, soybeans must be cooked with "wet" heat to destroy the trypsin inhibitors (serine protease inhibitors). Raw soybeans, including the immature green form, are toxic to all monogastric animals. Soy protein products can be good substitutes for animal products because, unlike some other beans, soy offers a 'complete' protein profile. Soya Bean is native to E Asia, widely naturalized.
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