New CSIRO soybean a hit
Case study: research
A new soybean variety is gaining popularity in Japan due to its enhanced suitability as an ingredient in traditional Japanese dishes. Bred by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) from an existing Japanese variety, the Bunya® soybean was selected and released via the National Soybean Breeding Program funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
Bunya produces a suite of proteins that gel quickly and firmly – important characteristics for making a range of soy-based foods like tofu and custard, as well as edamame and some types of miso.
Bunya has become the preferred Australian soybean variety sold in Japan – and the preferred variety used by Australian tofu manufacturers – because it has a traditional Asian flavour and its large seeds produce higher yields of soy milk and custard.
Farmers that grow the Bunya soybean can also see benefits, such as its increased yields of better quality beans when grown in favourable conditions.
Bunya plants are small which means they can be planted more densely than other soybean varieties. Bunya also has a trait from tropical soybean varieties that enables it to extend its juvenile phase, making it more suited to a wider range of growing environments than other soybean varieties.
The CSIRO is now working on another new variety, ‘Hayman’, which is due for release in late 2013 and has similar proteins and fast gelling properties that make Bunya popular.