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Aims: The aim of the research was to analyse the minerals and proximate content of soya bean in order to explore its nutritional values in human and animal diets.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was carried out at Edo Environmental Consults and Laboratory Limited (EECL), Benin–City and Delta State University, Abraka, between March, 2010 and January, 2011.
Methodology: The standard procedures were followed to analyse the proximate compositions and mineral concentrations of soya bean flour. The caloric value was calculated from crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, carbohydrate, moisture and ash content. The Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn), Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and cadmium (Cd) were determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS), sodium ((Na) by Flame Spectrophotometer and phosphorus (P) by Spectrophotometer.
Results: The result revealed that soya bean contained 37.69% of protein, 28.20% of crude fat, 4.29% of ash, 8.07% of moisture, 5.44% of fibre, 16.31% of carbohydrate. The mineral determination showed that soya bean contained 300.36 mg/100 g of Calcium, 258.24 mg/100 g of Magnesium, 16.4 mg/100 g of Iron, 3.0 mg/100 g of Sodium, 2.7 mg/100 g of Zinc, 695.20 mg/ 100 g of Phosphorus, 469.80 kCal/100 g while Cadmium was below detectable range.
Conclusion: This study concluded that the tested soya bean contained the highest amount of protein and lowest amount of ash. Similarly, among the minerals tested soya bean contained the highest amount of phosphorus and no cadmium at all. Considering the nutrient contents and proximate analysis of the sample, soya bean should be an inexpensive source of macronutrients that could be used in the management of protein-energy malnutrition and to improve the nutrition status of the vulnerable group of the population in developing countries. In developed countries, it could be used to improve the nutrition status of functional foods.