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Develop mathematical models for monitoring soybean quality deterioration.

Improperly storing soybeans, such as in high-humidity and high-temperature environments, can cause a darkening of their color and can lessen soy milk protein and tofu yields. A rapid method for monitoring quality deterioration is needed.

Scientists at North Dakota State University investigated the effect of storage conditions on soybean quality. They developed mathematical models for relating storage conditions to changes in product quality. The condition variables studied by the researchers included soybean genotype, ambient relative humidity, bean moisture content, temperature and time duration.

The investigators stored three soybean genotypes--Proto, IA2032 and Vinton--in temperatures that ranged from 4 C to 50 C, in ambient relative humidity ranging from 55% to 80%, in a moisture content of from 6% to 14%, and for six to 12 months. During storage, samples were retrieved periodically for analysis.

The scientists determined soybean surface color, and soy milk and tofu properties, including soy milk solid content, protein content, pH and tofu yield. Stored soybeans exhibited a decrease in lightness, an increase in difference of color, and decreases in soy milk pH levels, solids content, protein content and tofu yield. The deterioration rate escalated as temperature and relative humidity levels increased. The deterioration rate obtained using linear regression was used to predict storage effects.

IA2032 showed the best storability, while the Vinton variety was the one most readily to deteriorate of the three. Statistical analysis indicated that moisture content, temperature, time and relative humidity affected color and other variables significantly. Mathematical model relationships between storage conditions and color indices had high correlation coefficients.

Linear relationships existed between soybean color indices and soy milk and tofu properties. The mathematical equations that were developed can be used by soy food processors to estimate soy milk and tofu-making properties.

Further information. Sam K. C. Chang, Department of Cereal and Food Sciences, North Dakota State University, Harris Hall 210, Fargo, ND 58105; phone: 701-231-7485; fax: 701-2317723; email:
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Publication:Microbial Update International
Date:Feb 1, 2007
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