Comparison of soybean cultivars for enhancement of the polyamine contents in the fermented soybean natto using Bacillus subtilis (natto)

Polyamines have beneficial properties to prevent aging-associated diseases. Raw soybean has relatively high polyamine contents; and the fermented soybean natto is a good source of polyamines. However, detailed information of diversity of polyamine content in raw soybean is lacking. The objectives of this study were to evaluate differences of polyamines among raw soybeans and select the high polyamine-containing cultivar for natto production. Polyamine contents were measured chromatographically in 16 samples of soybean, which showed high variation among soybeans as follows: 93–861 nmol/g putrescine, 1055–2306 nmol/g spermidine, and 177–578 nmol/g spermine. We then confirmed the high correlations of polyamine contents between raw soybean and natto (r = 0.96, 0.95, and 0.94 for putrescine, spermidine, and spermine, respectively). Furthermore, comparison of the polyamine contents among 9 Japanese cultivars showed that ‘Nakasen-nari’ has the highest polyamine contents, suggesting its suitability for enhancement of polyamine contents of natto.

A. High correlations of polyamine contents between raw soybean and natto.

B. “Nakasen-nari” has the highest polyamine contents among 9 Japanese cultivars.