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Schillinger to advance high-protein soybean seed
By BRUCE HOTCHKISS
QUEENSTOWN, Md. (Jan. 19, 2016) — Trypsin is described as “a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins in the small intestine.
It is secreted by the pancreas in an inactive form, trypsinogen.
Elsewhere, trypsin is “a proteolytic enzyme of the pancreatic juice, capable of converting proteins into peptone.”
The important notation therein is that trypsin is an enemy of protein and protein may be the best recognized of all nutrients in terms of its health importance. Public health recommendations in the United States have included an emphasis on dietary protein for more than a century.
The very name of this nutrient comes from the Latin word protos meaning “first,” and that meaning is consistent with the approach of many researchers who have long considered protein to be a nutrient “of first importance.”
However, even though the importance of protein is so deeply rooted in nutritional science, researchers may actually be in the early stages of understanding the full health benefits provided by this remarkable nutrient. The reason involves the surprising number of roles that protein plays in the human body.
So, in developing a food product for humans or animals — the idea is to get rid of trypsin, which might be contained in the product in whatever quantity possible.
That’s what Schillinger Genetics has done with a soybean.
In research, accomplished at the company’s farm and research facility on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the company has been able to accurately — and repeatedly — measure the trypsin inhibitor in a small sample of whole soybean seeds.
“That breakthrough discovery,” wrote company president and founder John Schillinger on a report to the Maryland Soybean Board, “to accurately measure the presence of the major anti-nutrient in soybeans is enabling Schillinger to bring to the market in 2017 the first low trypsin soybean varieties.”
The Schillinger research has been largely financed by the soybean board with Maryland soybean checkoff funds. Schillinger said that the technology which allowed the breakthrough — known as HPLC — has allowed the company to measure the inheritance of trypsin so that the most efficient protocols could be used to develop the new varieties — to measure the possible genetic and/or environmental interactions that could possibly impact total trypsin over many environments — and enables Schillinger to reduce both types of trypsin.
Schillinger explained that soybean varieties with low trypsin “will reduce energy costs during processing and enable farmers who are feeding livestock to simply crush the beans without heat and feed the low trypsin grain to their animals and poultry.”
Schillinger said the low trypsin beans will offer livestock and poultry farmers “a new feeding tool.” Soybeans normally contain up to 60,000 units of trypsin. Beans coming out of Schillinger test plots have been measured at as low as 10,000 units.