Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 409, Issue 14, pp 3515–3525 | Cite as

Analysis of multiple soybean phytonutrients by near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy

  • Gaoyang Zhang
  • Penghui Li
  • Wenfei Zhang
  • Jian ZhaoEmail author
Research Paper


Improvement of the nutritional quality of soybean is usually facilitated by a vast range of soybean germplasm with enough information about their multiple phytonutrients. In order to acquire this essential information from a huge number of soybean samples, a rapid analytic method is urgently required. Here, a nondestructive near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) method was developed for rapid and accurate measurement of 25 nutritional components in soybean simultaneously, including fatty acids palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid, vitamin E (VE), α-VE, γ-VE, δ-VE, saponins, isoflavonoids, and flavonoids. Modified partial least squares regression and first, second, third, and fourth derivative transformation was applied for the model development. The 1 minus variance ratio (1-VR) value of the optimal model can reach between the highest 0.95 and lowest 0.64. The predicted values of phytonutrients in soybean using NIRS technology are comparable to those obtained from using the traditional spectrum or chemical methods. A robust NIRS can be adopted as a reliable method to evaluate complex plant constituents for screening large-scale samples of soybean germplasm resources or genetic populations for improvement of nutritional qualities.

Graphical Abstract


Soybean nutrients Near infrared spectroscopy Modeling Quick germplasm screening 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (grant 2016YFD0100504), and the Major State Basic Research Development Program of China (973 Program 2013CB127001).

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Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaoyang Zhang
    • 1
  • Penghui Li
    • 1
  • Wenfei Zhang
    • 1
  • Jian Zhao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic ImprovementHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina

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