If the seed coat is cracked, the seed will not germinate.
The scar, visible on the seed coat, is called the hilum (colors include black, brown, buff, gray and yellow) and at one end of the hilum is the micropyle, or small opening in the seed coat which can allow the absorption of water for sprouting.
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In 100 grams, raw soybeans supply 446 calories and are 9% water, 30% carbohydrates, 20% total fat and 36% protein (table).
Soybeans are an exceptional source of essential nutrients, providing in a 100 gram serving (raw, for reference) high contents of the Daily Value (DV) especially for protein (36% DV), dietary fiber (37%), iron (121%), manganese (120%), phosphorus (101%) and several B vitamins, including folate (94%) (table).
Strains that continue nodal development after flowering are termed "indeterminates" and are best suited to climates with longer growing seasons.
The fruit is a hairy pod that grows in clusters of three to five, each pod is 3–8 cm (1.2–3.1 in) long and usually contains two to four (rarely more) seeds 5–11 mm in diameter.
High contents also exist for vitamin K, magnesium, zinc and potassium (table).
For human consumption, soybeans must be cooked with "wet" heat to destroy the trypsin inhibitors (serine protease inhibitors).Remarkably, seeds such as soybeans containing very high levels of protein can undergo desiccation, yet survive and revive after water absorption. Carl Leopold, son of Aldo Leopold, began studying this capability at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University in the mid-1980s.He found soybeans and corn to have a range of soluble carbohydrates protecting the seed's cell viability.According to the US Food and Drug Administration: Soy protein products can be good substitutes for animal products because, unlike some other beans, soy offers a 'complete' protein profile. Soy protein products can replace animal-based foods—which also have complete proteins but tend to contain more fat, especially saturated fat—without requiring major adjustments elsewhere in the diet.The Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) of soy protein is the nutritional equivalent of meat, eggs, and casein for human growth and health.Raw soybeans, including the immature green form, are toxic to all monogastric animals.