Sucrose and raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) in soybean seeds as influenced by genotype and growing location

J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 28;58(8):5081-5. doi: 10.1021/jf903141s.


Sucrose content in soybean seeds is desired to be high because as a sweetness-imparting component, it helps in wider acceptance of soy-derived food products. Conversely, galactosyl derivatives of sucrose, that is, raffinose and stachyose, which are flatulence-inducing components, need to be in low concentration in soybean seeds not only for augmenting utilization of the crop in food uses but also for delivering soy meal with improved metabolizable energy for monogastric animals. In the present study, analysis of 148 soybean genotypes for sucrose and total raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) contents revealed a higher variation (4.80-fold) for sucrose than for RFOs content (2.63-fold). High-performance liquid chromatography analyses revealed ranges of 0.64-2.53 and 2.09-7.1 mmol/100 g for raffinose and stachyose contents, respectively. As information concerning the environmental effects on the sucrose and RFOs content in soybean seeds is not available, we also investigated a set of seven genotypes raised at widely different geographical locations for these quality traits. Sucrose content was found to be significantly higher at cooler location (Palampur); however, differences observed for raffinose and stachyose contents across the growing locations were genotype-dependent. The results suggest that soybean genotypes grown at cooler locations may be better suited for processing soy food products with improved taste and flavor.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Genotype
  • Raffinose / isolation & purification*
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Soybeans / embryology*
  • Sucrose / isolation & purification*


  • Sucrose
  • Raffinose