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Soybean oil Nutrition facts

Soybean oil is the edible vegetable oil extracted from soybean seeds. According to the US agricultural services data information, it is the most popular and largely used cooking oil in the world.

Soybean is one of the ancient crops cultivated initially in the Chinese mainland, and it was introduced to the rest of the world only a few hundred years ago. Today, soybean is one of the widely cultivated commercial field crops grown in the U.S, Brazil, Argentina, China, and India.

Soybean is an annual dicotyledonous plant belonging to the family of Fabaceae (Leguminosae), in the genus, Glycine. Scientific name: Glycine max. (L.) Merr.

soybean oil and soy seeds
Soybean seeds and oil.

Soybean flourishes well under moisture, nutrient-rich, and well-drained soils. It is a short-term crop, the whole crop requires about 120 days from plantation to harvest. Yellow soybean variety seeds are specially chosen for oil pressing.


Physical characteristics of soybean oil

Dry soybean seeds compose about 18-20% of extractable oil by weight. The seeds are pressed to obtain oil and the soybean meal, a residue, is used as cattle/animal feed. Crude soybean oil is deep-yellow, contains several impurities such as moisture, lecithin, free-fatty acids, and certain volatile compounds. These impurities are then removed through further refining to obtain an acceptable-grade cooking oil.

Refined oil is a clear light yellow liquid, and features a neutral odor and taste. Fresh oil has very low free fatty acids (FFA) less than 0.1%. Its specific gravity @ 25 °C is 0.9150–0.9280, Iodine value-75 – 94, and saponification value-184 – 195.


Soybean oil Nutrition facts

  1. Soybean oil is one of the cheif poly-unsaturated cooking oils. 100 g oil provides 884 calories.

  2. It is one of the cooking oils with high smoke point; 495 °F, similar to peanut oil. This property of soybean can be employed in setting oil at higher temperatures while deep frying.

  3. Soybean oil has a very good lipid profile. It has saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (SFA: MUFA: PUFA= 16: 24: 58) fats in healthy proportions.

  4. It is one of the stable cooking oils; having a long shelf life.

Health benefits of soybean oil

  1. Soybean oil chief poly-unsaturated fats rich vegetable oil. Linoleic acid (omega-6) is the major polyunsaturated fatty acid found in it. Besides, its low saturated fats and cholesterol-free status designate it as one of the healthiest cooking oils.

  2. Soybean, being a vegetable oil, is a good source of plant sterols, especially ß-sitosterol. The FDA has approved the following claim for phytosterols: "Foods containing at least 0.4 gram per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 0.8 gram, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." Phyto-sterols competitively inhibit cholesterol absorption in the gut and thereby can reduce blood cholesterol levels by 10% to 15%

  3. Soybean oil is a modest sources of antioxidant, vitamin E. 100 g fresh oil has 8.18 mg of α-tocopherol and 64.26 mg of γ-tocopherol. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid-soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of the cell membrane of mucosa and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen-free radicals.

  4. The oil has vitamin-K in high concentrations; 100 g of oil compose of 183.9 mcg. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone health through the promotion of osteoblastic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has an established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.



Checkout the fat composition of soybean oil:
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value
Fats (Lipids)
Total 100 g
Saturated 15.65 g
Mono Unsaturated 22.78 g
Poly unsaturated 57.74 g
18:2,  ω-6 50.418 g
18:3,  ω-3 (ALA) 6.789 g

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:
Soybean oil (Glycine max. (L.) Merr), Nutritional value per 100 g. (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value % of RDA
Energy 884 Kcal 44%
Carbohydrates 0 g 0%
Protein 0 g 0%
Total Fat 100 g 500%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
Vitamins
Folates 0 µg 0%
Niacin 0 mg 0%
Pantothenic acid 0 mg 0%
Pyridoxine 0 mg 0%
Riboflavin 0 mg 0%
Thiamin 0 mg 0%
Vitamin A 0 IU 0%
Vitamin C 0 0%
Vitamin E (a-tocopherol) 8.18 mg 54%
Vitamin K 183.9 µg 153%
Electrolytes
Sodium 0 mg 0%
Potassium 0 mg 0%
Minerals
Calcium 0 mg 0%
Copper 0 mg 0%
Iron 0.05 mg <0.5%
Magnesium 0 mg 0%
Manganese 0 mg 0%
Phosphorus 0 mg 0%
Selenium 0 µg 0%
Zinc 0.01 mg <1%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-ß 0 µg --
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg --
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg --
Phytosterols 172 mg --

Selection and storage

Soybean oil is commercially sold in the markets as cooking and salad oil. It is also being used in the products like margarine and shortenings. Mechanically pressed oil is superior in terms of vitamin E, however, it may contain unwanted free fatty acids and lecithin. The solvent extraction method is widely employed in the practice of extraction oil worldwide.

In the stores, choose fresh oil packed in containers. Being a high poly-unsaturated fat, soybean oil has a tendency to undergo early oxidation upon exposure to air, light, and moisture. Commercially available oils are oftentimes added with vitamin E, oleic acid (mono-unsaturated fatty acid) to improve its nutrition profile and shelf-life.

At home, store unpacked oil at room temperature in a cool dark place. Transfer small amounts into oil dispensing bottle for daily use. At places where the average day temperature exceeds > 25 C, it is preferably kept in cold storage.


Culinary use

Soya bean oil is amongst the widely employed cooking oils in the world. It is one of the affordable and readily available oils that is greatly supported by the American Agriculture department.

Commercially available soybean oil is clear yellow and has a neutral taste, and has a high smoke point, it can be used in a wide range of cooking styles from light cooking to high-temperature frying.


Safety profile

soybean seeds and its products are one of the common allergenic food substances around. Symptoms of Soybean oil allergy are a type of hypersensitivity response in some people to food substances prepared with using this oil. Common reactions may include allergic skin problems like urticaria, hives, eczematous dermatitis. In severe cases symptoms may include vomiting, gastritis, pain abdomen, swelling of lips and throat leading to breathing difficulty, wheezing, chest congestion, and in rare cases may lead to death. It is, therefore, people with known soy product allergies may be advised to avoid any food preparations that contain soy foodstuffs.

Research studies, however, suggest that highly refined soybean oil, which has had all the allergic-proteins and impurities removed, does not cause a hypersensitive-response even in severely allergic individuals. (Medical Disclaimer).



≺≺ Also read- Soybeans.

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Further Resources:

  1. USDA nutrient database.

  2. Vegetable oil processing (opens in new window)




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