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Black-soybean feijoada

Black soybeans: tastier and easier to prepare than regular soybeans

EMBRAPABlack soybeans: tastier and easier to prepare than regular soybeansEMBRAPA

In a few years, the traditional meat and black bean stew known as feijoada may be replaced on Brazilian tables by a similar dish: sojoada – or “soy-ada” – prepared with soybeans instead of black beans (feijão). Researchers at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), the Minas Gerais Research Corporation (Epamig), and the Triangle Research and Development Foundation, in the city of Uberaba, are developing two new lines of black soybeans. According to Ana Cristina Juhász, Epamig researcher, development of these lines began at the Embrapa site in Londrina, Paraná, in 2006. The original 25 varieties were eventually pared down to two. “They’re in the final phase of our improvement program,” says Juhász. “They’ll be evaluated more rigorously this year and next, and in a greater number of experimental areas, in order to determine whether they can be launched as new cultivars.” If all goes well, it is expected that the black soybeans will be available in two years. In addition to agronomic evaluations, other characteristics of the beans must be tested. “They have to please the producer as well as the Brazilian consumer’s discerning palate,” explains Juhász. “The tests we’ve run so far have shown that black soybeans are tastier and easier to cook than the regular ones. They also contain anthocyanin, a natural antioxidant that helps retard cell aging.”