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Soybeans
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 Grown in fertile soils with clean waters, Okcheon’s soybeans show distinguished taste and quality.

Soybeans are widely cultivated as edible crops.  The stem is 60-100cm in height and mostly grows straight.  The roots have many bulbs.  On the stems grow three alternating leaves that are egg-shaped or oval with smooth edges.

The red or white blossoms bloom in July and August and the small flower stalk from the bottom of the leaves bears raceme.  The calyx is bell-shaped with the end diverging into five tips.  The corolla is butterfly-shaped with 10 stamens.  

The fruit is a legume and oval in shape with 1-7 seeds.  When fully ripened, the end opens up to scatter the seeds.  The seeds are divided into various sizes and shapes.  The colors of the seeds are yellow, black, light brown, and green.  

Soybean has developed into a type of crop from wild beans.  Considering that the hybrid of wild beans and soybeans is cultivated in the northeastern part of China and how their mutants are distributed, the origin of soybean is probably the Huabei region of China.  In China, soybean has been cultivated for more than 4,000 years as one of the five major grains.  Historical records tell us that Korea began cultivating soybeans from the early Age of Three Empires (early 1st Century BC).

Soybean is economically very contributive throughout the world.  It supplies plant protein to people and is also used in producing various chemical products.  Soybean is composed of 8.6% water, 40% protein, 18% fat, 3.5% fiber, 4.6% limestone, 4.4% pentonsan, and 7% sugar.   

It is the biggest source of protein in Korean diet.  It can be processed to make tofu, soybean paste, soy sauce, soy flour, snacks, and soy oil.  Soy oil is reprocessed to make butter or other industrial resources.  Soybean oil cake is used to feed livestock or to fertilize soil.  It can also be processed again to make soy sauce, soybean paste, or soy snacks.  Soybeans are also used to make soybean sprouts.  

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