Soybean
Overview
The soybean or soya bean (UK) (Glycine max) is a species of legume native to East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

, widely grown for its edible bean
Bean
Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae used for human food or animal feed....

 which has numerous uses. The plant is classed as an oilseed rather than a pulse
Pulse (legume)
A pulse is an annual leguminous crop yielding from one to twelve seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod. Pulses are used for food and animal feed. The term "pulse", as used by the Food and Agricultural Organization , is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry seed...

 by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Fat-free (defatted) soybean meal is a primary, low-cost source of protein for animal feeds and most prepackaged meals
TV dinner
A TV dinner is a prepackaged frozen or chilled meal that usually comes as an individual portion...

; soy vegetable oil
Soybean oil
Soybean oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean . It is one of the most widely consumed cooking oils. As a drying oil, processed soybean oil is also used as a base for printing inks and oil paints...

 is another product of processing the soybean crop.
Encyclopedia
The soybean or soya bean (UK) (Glycine max) is a species of legume native to East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

, widely grown for its edible bean
Bean
Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae used for human food or animal feed....

 which has numerous uses. The plant is classed as an oilseed rather than a pulse
Pulse (legume)
A pulse is an annual leguminous crop yielding from one to twelve seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod. Pulses are used for food and animal feed. The term "pulse", as used by the Food and Agricultural Organization , is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry seed...

 by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Fat-free (defatted) soybean meal is a primary, low-cost source of protein for animal feeds and most prepackaged meals
TV dinner
A TV dinner is a prepackaged frozen or chilled meal that usually comes as an individual portion...

; soy vegetable oil
Soybean oil
Soybean oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean . It is one of the most widely consumed cooking oils. As a drying oil, processed soybean oil is also used as a base for printing inks and oil paints...

 is another product of processing the soybean crop. For example, soybean products such as textured vegetable protein
Textured vegetable protein
Textured or texturized vegetable protein , also known as textured soy protein , soy meat, or soya meat is a meat analogue or meat extender made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil...

 (TVP) are ingredients in many meat and dairy analogues. Soybeans produce significantly more protein per acre than most other uses of land.

Traditional nonfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk
Soy milk
Soy milk and sometimes referred to as soy drink/beverage is a beverage made from soybeans. A stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein, it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water...

, and from the latter tofu
Tofu
is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is part of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and others. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu...

 and tofu skin. Fermented foods include soy sauce
Soy sauce
Soy sauce is a condiment produced by fermenting soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds, along with water and salt...

, fermented bean paste
Fermented bean paste
Fermented bean paste is a category of fermented foods typically made from ground soybeans, which are indigenous to the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia...

, natto
Natto
is a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis. It is popular especially as a breakfast food. As a rich source of protein and probiotics, nattō and the soybean paste miso formed a vital source of nutrition in feudal Japan. Nattō can be an acquired taste because...

, and tempeh
Tempeh
Tempeh , or tempe , is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty...

, among others. The oil is used in many industrial applications. The main producers of soy are the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (35%), Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 (27%), Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 (19%), China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 (6%) and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 (4%). The beans contain significant amounts of phytic acid
Phytic acid
Phytic acid is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, especially bran and seeds. Phytate is not digestible to humans or nonruminant animals, however, so it is not a source of either inositol or phosphate if eaten directly...

, alpha-linolenic acid
Alpha-linolenic acid
α-Linolenic acid is an organic compound found in many common vegetable oils. In terms of its structure, it is named all-cis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid. In physiological literature, it is given the name 18:3 ....

, and the isoflavones genistein
Genistein
Genistein is one of several known isoflavones. Isoflavones, such as genistein and daidzein, are found in a number of plants including lupin, fava beans, soybeans, kudzu, and psoralea being the primary food source, also in the medicinal plant, Flemingia vestita and coffee Besides functioning as...

 and daidzein
Daidzein
Daidzein belongs to the group of isoflavones. Daidzein and other isoflavone compounds, such as genistein, are present in a number of plants and herbs like the Thai Kwao Krua or Pueraria mirifica, Kudzu or Pueraria lobata, and in food sources such as soybeans and soy products like tofu and textured...

.

Name

The plant is sometimes referred to as greater bean (大豆 - Chinese dàdòu and Japanese daizu). Both the immature soybean and its dish are called edamame
Edamame
or Edamame bean is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod commonly found in Japan, China, and Hawaii. The pods are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt, and served whole....

in Japan, but in English, edamame refers only to a specific dish.

The English word "soy" is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of , the Japanese word for soya sauce; "soya" comes from the Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 adaptation of the same word.

Classification

The genus name Glycine
Glycine (plant)
Glycine is a genus in the bean family Fabaceae. The best known species is the soybean . While the majority of the species are found only in Australia, the soybean's native range is in East Asia. A few species extend from Australia to East Asia Glycine is a genus in the bean family Fabaceae. The...

 was originally introduced by Carl Linnaeus (1737) in his first edition of Genera Plantarum
Genera Plantarum
Genera Plantarum is a publication of Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus . The fifth edition served as a complementary volume to Species Plantarum . Article 13 of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature states that "It is agreed to associate generic names which first appear in Linnaeus'...

. The word glycine is derived from the Greek - glykys (sweet) and likely refers to the sweetness of the pear
Pear
The pear is any of several tree species of genus Pyrus and also the name of the pomaceous fruit of these trees. Several species of pear are valued by humans for their edible fruit, but the fruit of other species is small, hard, and astringent....

-shaped (apios in Greek) edible tubers produced by the native North American twining or climbing herbaceous legume, Glycine apios, now known as Apios americana
Apios americana
Apios americana, sometimes called the potato bean, hopniss, Indian potato or groundnut is a perennial vine native to eastern North America, and bears edible beans and large edible tubers. It grows to 3–4 m long, with pinnate leaves 8–15 cm long with 5–7 leaflets...

. The cultivated soybean first appeared in Species Plantarum
Species Plantarum
Species Plantarum was first published in 1753, as a two-volume work by Carl Linnaeus. Its prime importance is perhaps that it is the primary starting point of plant nomenclature as it exists today. This means that the first names to be considered validly published in botany are those that appear...

, by Linnaeus, under the name Phaseolus
Phaseolus
Phaseolus is a genus in the family Fabaceae of about fifty plant species, all native to the Americas.At least four of the species have been domesticated since pre-Columbian times for their beans. Most prominent among these is the common bean, P...

 max
L. The combination Glycine max (L.) Merr., as proposed by Merrill in 1917, has become the valid name for this useful plant.

The genus Glycine Willd. is divided into two subgenera, Glycine and Soja. The subgenus Soja (Moench) F.J. Herm. includes the cultivated soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr., and the wild soybean, Glycine soja
Glycine soja
Glycine soja, or wild soybean is an annual plant in the legume family. It is the wild ancestor of soybean, an important crop.-External links:***...

Sieb. & Zucc. Both species are annual
Annual plant
An annual plant is a plant that usually germinates, flowers, and dies in a year or season. True annuals will only live longer than a year if they are prevented from setting seed...

s. Glycine soja is the wild ancestor of Glycine max, and grows wild in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Russia.
The subgenus Glycine consists of at least 16 wild perennial species: for example, Glycine canescens F.J. Herm. and G. tomentella Hayata, both found in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Like some other crops of long domestication, the relationship of the modern soybean to wild-growing species can no longer be traced with any degree of certainty. It is a cultural variety
Cultigen
A cultigen is a plant that has been deliberately altered or selected by humans; it is the result of artificial selection. These "man-made" or anthropogenic plants are, for the most part, plants of commerce that are used in horticulture, agriculture and forestry...

 with a very large number of cultivars.

Description and physical characteristics

Soy varies in growth and habit. The height of the plant varies from below 20 cm (7.9 in) up to 2 metres (6.6 ft).

The pods, stems, and leaves are covered with fine brown or gray hairs. The leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are trifoliolate, having three to four leaflet
Leaflet
A leaflet in botany is a part of a compound leaf. A leaflet may resemble an entire leaf, but it is not borne on a stem as a leaf is, but rather on a vein of the whole leaf. Compound leaves are common in many plant families...

s per leaf, and the leaflets are 6 – long and 2 – broad. The leaves fall before the seeds are mature. The inconspicuous, self-fertile flowers are borne in the axil of the leaf and are white, pink or purple.

The fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 is a hairy pod that grows in clusters of three to five, each pod is 3–8 cm long (1–3 in) and usually contains two to four (rarely more) seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s 5–11 mm in diameter.

Soybeans occur in various sizes, and in many hull
Husk
Husk in botany is the outer shell or coating of a seed. It often refers to the leafy outer covering of an ear of maize as it grows on the plant. Literally, a husk or hull includes the protective outer covering of a seed, fruit or vegetable...

 or seed coat colors, including black, brown, blue, yellow, green and mottled. The hull of the mature bean is hard, water resistant, and protects the cotyledon
Cotyledon
A cotyledon , is a significant part of the embryo within the seed of a plant. Upon germination, the cotyledon may become the embryonic first leaves of a seedling. The number of cotyledons present is one characteristic used by botanists to classify the flowering plants...

 and hypocotyl
Hypocotyl
The hypocotyl is the stem of a germinating seedling, found below the cotyledons and above the radicle .-Dicots:...

 (or "germ") from damage. 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.

Remarkably, seeds such as soybeans containing very high levels of protein
Soy protein
Soy protein is a protein that is isolated from soybean. It is made from dehulled, defatted soybean meal. Dehulled and defatted soybeans are processed into three kinds of high protein commercial products : soy flour, concentrates, and isolates. Soy protein isolate has been used since 1959 in foods ...

 can undergo desiccation
Desiccation
Desiccation is the state of extreme dryness, or the process of extreme drying. A desiccant is a hygroscopic substance that induces or sustains such a state in its local vicinity in a moderately sealed container.-Science:...

, yet survive and revive after water absorption. A. Carl Leopold
A. Carl Leopold
Aldo Carl Leopold was an American academic and plant physiologist. His father was Aldo Leopold, renowned ecologist and employee of the United States Forest Service, and his mother was Estella Leopold....

, son of Aldo Leopold
Aldo Leopold
Aldo Leopold was an American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac , which has sold over two million copies...

, began studying this capability at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research
Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research
The Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research is a research and education organization devoted to plant science currently located on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York...

 at Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 in the mid 1980s. He found soybeans and corn to have a range of soluble carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s protecting the seed's cell viability. Patents were awarded to him in the early 1990s on techniques for protecting "biological membranes" and proteins in the dry state. Compare to tardigrades.

Chemical composition of the seed

Together, oil and protein content account for about 60% of dry soybeans by weight; protein at 40% and oil at 20%. The remainder consists of 35% carbohydrate and about 5% ash
Ash (analytical chemistry)
In analytical chemistry, ashing is the process of mineralization for preconcentration of trace substances prior to chemical analysis. Ash is the name given to all non-aqueous residue that remains after a sample is burned, and consist mostly of metal oxides....

. Soybean cultivars comprise approximately 8% seed coat or hull, 90% cotyledons and 2% hypocotyl
Hypocotyl
The hypocotyl is the stem of a germinating seedling, found below the cotyledons and above the radicle .-Dicots:...

 axis or germ.

Most soy protein
Soy protein
Soy protein is a protein that is isolated from soybean. It is made from dehulled, defatted soybean meal. Dehulled and defatted soybeans are processed into three kinds of high protein commercial products : soy flour, concentrates, and isolates. Soy protein isolate has been used since 1959 in foods ...

 is a relatively heat-stable storage protein. This heat stability enables soy food products requiring high temperature cooking, such as tofu
Tofu
is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is part of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and others. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu...

, soy milk
Soy milk
Soy milk and sometimes referred to as soy drink/beverage is a beverage made from soybeans. A stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein, it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water...

 and textured vegetable protein
Textured vegetable protein
Textured or texturized vegetable protein , also known as textured soy protein , soy meat, or soya meat is a meat analogue or meat extender made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil...

 (soy flour) to be made.

The principal soluble carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s of mature soybeans are the disaccharide sucrose
Sucrose
Sucrose is the organic compound commonly known as table sugar and sometimes called saccharose. A white, odorless, crystalline powder with a sweet taste, it is best known for its role in human nutrition. The molecule is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose with the molecular formula...

 (range 2.5–8.2%), the trisaccharide raffinose
Raffinose
Raffinose is a trisaccharide composed of galactose, fructose, and glucose. It can be found in beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables, and whole grains. Raffinose can be hydrolyzed to D-galactose and sucrose by the enzyme α-galactosidase , an enzyme not found in the...

 (0.1–1.0%) composed of one sucrose molecule connected to one molecule of galactose
Galactose
Galactose , sometimes abbreviated Gal, is a type of sugar that is less sweet than glucose. It is a C-4 epimer of glucose....

, and the tetrasaccharide stachyose
Stachyose
Stachyose is a tetrasaccharide consisting of two α--galactose units, one α--glucose unit, and one β--fructose unit sequentially linked as galgalglcfru. Stachyose is naturally found in numerous vegetables and plants.Stachyose is less sweet than sucrose, at about 28% on a weight basis...

 (1.4 to 4.1%) composed of one sucrose connected to two molecules of galactose. While the oligosaccharide
Oligosaccharide
An oligosaccharide is a saccharide polymer containing a small number of component sugars, also known as simple sugars...

s raffinose and stachyose protect the viability of the soybean seed from desiccation (see above section on physical characteristics) they are not digestible sugars, and therefore contribute to flatulence
Flatulence
Flatulence is the expulsion through the rectum of a mixture of gases that are byproducts of the digestion process of mammals and other animals. The medical term for the mixture of gases is flatus, informally known as a fart, or simply gas...

 and abdominal discomfort in humans and other monogastric
Monogastric
A monogastric organism has a simple single-chambered stomach, whereas ruminants have a four-chambered complex stomach. Examples of monogastric animals include omnivores such as humans, rats and pigs, carnivores such as dogs and cats, and herbivores such as Horses and rabbits. Herbivores with...

 animals; compare to the disaccharide trehalose
Trehalose
Trehalose, also known as mycose or tremalose, is a natural alpha-linked disaccharide formed by an α,α-1,1-glucoside bond between two α-glucose units. In 1832, H.A.L. Wiggers discovered trehalose in an ergot of rye, and in 1859 Marcellin Berthelot isolated it from trehala manna, a substance made...

. Undigested oligosaccharides are broken down in the intestine by native microbes, producing gases such as carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

, hydrogen
Hydrogen
Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

, and methane
Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest alkane, the principal component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth. The relative abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel...

.

Since soluble soy carbohydrates are found in the whey and are broken down during fermentation, soy concentrate, soy protein isolates, tofu, soy sauce, and sprouted soybeans are without flatus activity. On the other hand, there may be some beneficial effects to ingesting oligosaccharides such as raffinose and stachyose, namely, encouraging indigenous bifidobacteria
Bifidobacterium
Bifidobacterium is a genus of Gram-positive, non-motile, often branched anaerobic bacteria. They are ubiquitous, endosymbiotic inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract, vagina and mouth of mammals and other animals. Bifidobacteria are one of the major genera of bacteria that make up the colon...

 in the colon against putrefactive bacteria.

The insoluble carbohydrates in soybeans consist of the complex polysaccharides cellulose
Cellulose
Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β linked D-glucose units....

, hemicellulose
Hemicellulose
A hemicellulose is any of several heteropolymers , such as arabinoxylans, present along with cellulose in almost all plant cell walls. While cellulose is crystalline, strong, and resistant to hydrolysis, hemicellulose has a random, amorphous structure with little strength...

, and pectin
Pectin
Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants. It was first isolated and described in 1825 by Henri Braconnot...

. The majority of soybean carbohydrates can be classed as belonging to dietary fiber
Dietary fiber
Dietary fiber, dietary fibre, or sometimes roughage is the indigestible portion of plant foods having two main components:* soluble fiber that is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active byproducts, and* insoluble fiber that is metabolically inert, absorbing water as it...

.

Nutrition

For human consumption, soybeans must be cooked with "wet" heat to destroy the trypsin inhibitor
Trypsin inhibitor
Trypsin inhibitors are chemicals that reduce the availability of trypsin, an enzyme essential to nutrition of many animals, including humans.There are four commercial sources of trypsin inhibitors....

s (serine protease inhibitors). Raw soybeans, including the immature green form, are toxic to humans, swine, chickens, and in fact, all monogastric
Monogastric
A monogastric organism has a simple single-chambered stomach, whereas ruminants have a four-chambered complex stomach. Examples of monogastric animals include omnivores such as humans, rats and pigs, carnivores such as dogs and cats, and herbivores such as Horses and rabbits. Herbivores with...

 animals.

Soybeans are considered by many agencies to be a source of complete protein
Complete protein
A complete protein is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of humans or other animals...

. A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acid
Essential amino acid
An essential amino acid or indispensable amino acid is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized de novo by the organism , and therefore must be supplied in the diet.-Essentiality vs. conditional essentiality in humans:...

s that must be provided to the human body
Human body
The human body is the entire structure of a human organism, and consists of a head, neck, torso, two arms and two legs.By the time the human reaches adulthood, the body consists of close to 100 trillion cells, the basic unit of life...

 because of the body's inability to synthesize
Biosynthesis
Biosynthesis is an enzyme-catalyzed process in cells of living organisms by which substrates are converted to more complex products. The biosynthesis process often consists of several enzymatic steps in which the product of one step is used as substrate in the following step...

 them. For this reason, soy is a good source of protein, amongst many others, for vegetarians
Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism encompasses the practice of following plant-based diets , with or without the inclusion of dairy products or eggs, and with the exclusion of meat...

 and vegans
Veganism
Veganism is the practice of eliminating the use of animal products. Ethical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans or strict vegetarians eliminate them from their diet only...

 or for people who want to reduce the amount of meat they eat. 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.


However, as with many dietary health claims, there are opposing viewpoints on the health benefits of soybeans.

The gold standard for measuring protein quality, since 1990, is the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score
PDCAAS
Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score is a method of evaluating the protein quality based on both the amino acid requirements of humans and their ability to digest it...

 (PDCAAS) and by this criterion soy protein is the nutritional equivalent of meat, eggs, and casein
Casein
Casein is the name for a family of related phosphoprotein proteins . These proteins are commonly found in mammalian milk, making up 80% of the proteins in cow milk and between 60% and 65% of the proteins in human milk....

 for human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 growth and health. Soybean protein isolate has a biological value
Biological Value
Biological value is a measure of the proportion of absorbed protein from a food which becomes incorporated into the proteins of the organism's body. It summarises how readily the broken down protein can be used in protein synthesis in the cells of the organism. Proteins are the major source of...

 of 74, whole soybeans 96, soybean milk 91, and eggs 97.

Soy protein is essentially identical to that of other legume seeds. Moreover, soybeans can produce at least twice as much protein per acre than any other major vegetable or grain crop besides hemp, five to 10 times more protein per acre than land set aside for grazing animals to make milk, and up to 15 times more protein per acre than land set aside for meat production.

Consumption of soy may also reduce the risk of colon cancer, possibly due to the presence of sphingolipid
Sphingolipid
Sphingolipids are a class of lipids containing a backbone of sphingoid bases, a set of aliphatic amino alcohols that includes sphingosine. They were discovered in brain extracts in the 1870s and were named for the mythological Sphinx because of their enigmatic nature. These compounds play...

s.

Cultivation


Soybeans are an important global crop, providing oil and protein. In the United States, the bulk of the crop is solvent-extracted with hexane
Hexane
Hexane is a hydrocarbon with the chemical formula C6H14; that is, an alkane with six carbon atoms.The term may refer to any of four other structural isomers with that formula, or to a mixture of them. In the IUPAC nomenclature, however, hexane is the unbranched isomer ; the other four structures...

, and the "toasted" defatted soymeal (50% protein) then makes possible the raising of farm animals (e.g. chicken, hog, turkey) on an industrial scale never before seen in human history. A very small proportion of the crop is consumed directly by humans. Soybean products do, however, appear in a large variety of processed foods.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, soybeans became important in both North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 chiefly as substitutes for other protein foods and as a source of edible oil. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the soybean was discovered as fertilizer by the United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

. In the 1960-1 Dillion round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was negotiated during the UN Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization . GATT was signed in 1947 and lasted until 1993, when it was replaced by the World...

 (GATT), the United States secured tariff-free access for its soybeans to the European market. In the 1960s, the United States exported over 90% of the world's soybeans. In 2005, top soybeans exporters are Brazil (39% of world soybean exports), United States (37%) and Argentina (16%), while top importers are China (41% of world soybean imports), European Union (22%), Japan (6%) and Mexico (6%).

Cultivation is successful in climates with hot summers, with optimum growing conditions in mean temperatures of 20 to 30 °C (68 to 86 F); temperatures of below 20 °C and over 40 °C (68 °F, 104 °F) retard growth significantly. They can grow in a wide range of soils, with optimum growth in moist alluvial soils with a good organic content. Soybeans, like most legumes, perform nitrogen fixation
Nitrogen fixation
Nitrogen fixation is the natural process, either biological or abiotic, by which nitrogen in the atmosphere is converted into ammonia . This process is essential for life because fixed nitrogen is required to biosynthesize the basic building blocks of life, e.g., nucleotides for DNA and RNA and...

 by establishing a symbiotic relationship with the bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum
Rhizobia
Rhizobia are soil bacteria that fix nitrogen after becoming established inside root nodules of legumes . Rhizobia require a plant host; they cannot independently fix nitrogen...

(syn. Rhizobium japonicum; Jordan 1982). For best results, though, an inoculum of the correct strain of bacteria should be mixed with the soybean (or any legume) seed before planting. Modern crop cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s generally reach a height of around 1 m (3.3 ft), and take 80–120 days from sowing to harvesting.

The U.S., Brazil, Argentina, China and India are the world's largest soybean producers and represent more than 90% of global soybean production. The U.S. produced 75 million tons of soybeans in 2000, of which more than one-third was exported. In the 2010-2011 production year, this figure is expected to be over 90 million tonnes. Other leading producers are Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

.

Environmental groups, such as Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

 and the WWF
World Wide Fund for Nature
The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States...

, have reported soybean cultivation and the probability of increased soybean cultivation in Brazil has destroyed huge areas of Amazon rainforest
Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest , also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America...

, and is encouraging further deforestation
Deforestation
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use....

.

American soil scientist Dr. Andrew McClung, who first showed that the ecologically biodiverse savannah of the Cerrado
Cerrado
The Cerrado, is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil, particularly in the states of Gioas and Minas Gerais...

 region of Brazil could grow profitable soybeans, was awarded the 2006 World Food Prize
World Food Prize
The World Food Prize is an international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.-The Prize:...

 on October 19, 2006.

Soybean plants are vulnerable to a wide range of bacterial diseases, fungal diseases, viral diseases and parasites.

Soybeans can be grown organically, that is, without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

History

Soybeans were a crucial crop in eastern Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 long before written records. They remain a major crop in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, and Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

. Prior to fermented products such as soy sauce
Soy sauce
Soy sauce is a condiment produced by fermenting soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds, along with water and salt...

, tempeh
Tempeh
Tempeh , or tempe , is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty...

, natto
Natto
is a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis. It is popular especially as a breakfast food. As a rich source of protein and probiotics, nattō and the soybean paste miso formed a vital source of nutrition in feudal Japan. Nattō can be an acquired taste because...

, and miso
Miso
is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus , the most typical miso being made with soy. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso...

, soy was considered sacred for its use in crop rotation as a method of fixing nitrogen. The plants would be plowed under to clear the field for food crops. Soy was first introduced to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in the early 18th century and to British colonies in North America in 1765, where it was first grown for hay. Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 wrote a letter in 1770 mentioning sending soybeans home from England. Soybeans did not become an important crop outside of Asia until about 1910. In America, soy was considered an industrial product only, and was not used as a food prior to the 1920s. Soy was introduced to Africa from China in the late 19th century, and is now widespread across the continent.

Asia

The wild ancestor of the soybean is Glycine soja
Glycine soja
Glycine soja, or wild soybean is an annual plant in the legume family. It is the wild ancestor of soybean, an important crop.-External links:***...

(previously called G. ussuriensis), a legume native to central China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The soybean has been used in China for 5,000 years as a food and a component of drugs. According to the ancient Chinese myth, in 2853 BCE, the legendary Emperor Shennong
Shennong
Shennong , which names mean "Divine Farmer", but also known as the Emperor of the Five Grains , was a legendary ruler of China and culture hero reputed to have lived some 5,000 years ago...

 of China proclaimed that five plants were sacred: soybeans, rice, wheat, barley, and millet
Millet
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult...

. However, soy in particular was revered for its root structure as a means of crop rotation. Cultivation of soybeans was long confined chiefly to China, but gradually spread to other countries.

The oldest preserved soybeans were found in archaeological site
Archaeological site
An archaeological site is a place in which evidence of past activity is preserved , and which has been, or may be, investigated using the discipline of archaeology and represents a part of the archaeological record.Beyond this, the definition and geographical extent of a 'site' can vary widely,...

s in Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 dated about 1000 BCE, though it is uncertain if they were wild, or cultivated strains - though the size of cultivated beans, the main difference between the two, is a genetic alteration that determines whether the wild pods burst to scatter seeds, and neither feature could be determined from the remains. Wild-size soybeans have been found in the Yellow River basin of China. Radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 to estimate the age of carbon-bearing materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years. Raw, i.e. uncalibrated, radiocarbon ages are usually reported in radiocarbon years "Before Present" ,...

 of soybean samples recovered through flotation during excavations at the Early Mumun period Okbang site in Korea indicated soybean was cultivated as a food crop in around 1000–900 BCE.

From about the first century CE to the Age of Discovery
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

 (15-16th century), soybeans were introduced into several countries, such as India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, Malaysia, Burma, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 and Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

. This spread was due to the establishment of sea and land trade routes. The best current evidence on the Japanese Archipelago suggests soybean cultivation occurred in the early Yayoi period
Yayoi period
The is an Iron Age era in the history of Japan traditionally dated 300 BC to 300 AD. It is named after the neighbourhood of Tokyo where archaeologists first uncovered artifacts and features from that era. Distinguishing characteristics of the Yayoi period include the appearance of new...

. The earliest Japanese textual reference to the soybean is in the classic Kojiki
Kojiki
is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, dating from the early 8th century and composed by Ō no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Gemmei. The Kojiki is a collection of myths concerning the origin of the four home islands of Japan, and the Kami...

(Records of Ancient Matters), which was completed in 712 CE.

Many people have claimed soybeans in Asia were historically only used after a fermentation process, which lowers the high phytoestrogens content found in the raw plant. However, terms similar to "soy milk
Soy milk
Soy milk and sometimes referred to as soy drink/beverage is a beverage made from soybeans. A stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein, it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water...

" have been in use since 82 CE, and there is evidence of tofu
Tofu
is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is part of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and others. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu...

 consumption that dates to 220.

United States

Soybeans were introduced to America in 1765 by Samuel Bowen, a sailor who had visited China. He grew soy near Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

, and even made soy sauce for sale to England.

Soy took on a very important role in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. During the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, the drought-stricken (Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936...

) regions of the United States were able to use soy to regenerate their soil because of its nitrogen-fixing properties. Farms were increasing production to meet with government demands, and Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

 was a great leader of the soybean industry.

In 1932-33, the Ford Motor Company spent approximately $1,250,000 on soybean research. By 1935, every Ford car had soy involved in its manufacture. For example, soybean oil was used to paint
Soy paint
Soy paint is paint made primarily from soy, it combines the advantage of being a renewable resource with the potential of non-toxic product.-Oil:...

 the automobiles, as well as fluid for shock absorbers. Ford's involvement with the soybean opened many doors for agriculture and industry to be linked more strongly than ever before.

Henry Ford promoted the soybean, helping to develop uses for it both in food and in industrial products, even demonstrating auto body panels made of soy-based plastics. Ford's interest led to two bushel
Bushel
A bushel is an imperial and U.S. customary unit of dry volume, equivalent in each of these systems to 4 pecks or 8 gallons. It is used for volumes of dry commodities , most often in agriculture...

s (120 pounds) of soybeans being used in each Ford car, as well as products like the first commercial soy milk
Soy milk
Soy milk and sometimes referred to as soy drink/beverage is a beverage made from soybeans. A stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein, it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water...

, ice cream and all-vegetable nondairy whipped topping. The Ford development of so-called soy-based plastics was based on the addition of soybean flour and wood flour
Wood flour
Wood flour is finely pulverized wood that has a consistency fairly equal to sand or sawdust, but can vary considerably, with particles ranging in size from a fine powder to roughly the size of a grain of rice. Most wood flour manufacturers are able to create batches of wood flour that have the...

 to phenol formaldehyde plastics.
A prototype vehicle, colloquially titled the "Soybean Car
Soybean Car
The Soybean car was a plastic car made by the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, introduced to the public on August 13, 1941. It was the first car bodied entirely in plastic. Anzovin, p. 189 The first plastic car was manufactured by the Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Mi, USA, in August 1941...

", was built in 1941 out of such plastics.

In 1931, Ford hired chemists Robert Boyer
Robert Boyer (chemist)
Robert Allen Boyer was a chemist employed by Henry Ford, he was extremely proficient at inventing ways to convert soybeans into paints and plastic parts used on Ford automobiles. -References:...

 and Frank Calvert to produce artificial silk. They succeeded in making a textile fiber of spun soy protein fibers, hardened or tanned in a formaldehyde
Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is an organic compound with the formula CH2O. It is the simplest aldehyde, hence its systematic name methanal.Formaldehyde is a colorless gas with a characteristic pungent odor. It is an important precursor to many other chemical compounds, especially for polymers...

 bath, which was given the name Azlon
Azlon
Azlon is a synthetic textile fiber composed of protein material derived from natural sources. For example, soy, peanut, milk and corn. Currently it is used in clothing.-Canada:...

. It was usable in the making of suits, felt hats, and overcoats. Though pilot production of Azlon reached 5000 pounds per day in 1940, it never reached the commercial market; Dupont's nylon
Nylon
Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station...

 was the winner in the quest to produce artificial silk.

Australia, New Zealand and Oceania

Wild soybeans were discovered in northeastern Australia in 1770 by explorers Banks and Solander. In 1804, the first soyfood product ("Fine India Soy" [sauce]) was sold in Sydney. In 1879, the first domesticated soybeans arrived in Australia, a gift of the Minister of the Interior Department, Japan.

Canada

In 1831, the first soy product ("A few dozen India Soy" [sauce]) arrived in Canada. Soybeans were probably first cultivated in Canada by 1855, and definitely in 1895 at Ontario Agricultural College. A comprehensive history of soy in Canada (1,060 p., 2,336 references) is available online.

Caribbean / West Indies

The soybean arrived in the Caribbean in the form of soy sauce made by Samuel Bowen in Savannah, Georgia, in 1767. It remains only a minor crop there, but its uses for human food are growing steadily. A comprehensive history of soybeans and soyfoods in this region is available free online

Central Asia

The soybean is first in cultivated Transcaucasia in Central Asia in 1876, by the Dungans. This region has never been important for soybean production. A comprehensive history of soybeans and soyfoods in this region is available online.

Mexico and Central America

The first reliable reference to the soybean in this region dates from Mexico in 1877. A comprehensive history of soybeans and soyfoods in this region is available online.

Southeast Asia

By the 13th century, the soybean had arrived in Indonesia; it probably arrived much earlier, carried by traders or merchants from southern China.

South Asia / Indian Subcontinent

By the 1600s, soy sauce was being disseminated from southern Japan throughout this region by the Dutch East India Co. (VOC). The soybean probably arrived from southern China, moving southward into northern India.

Genetic modification

Soybeans are one of the "biotech
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

 food" crops that have been genetically modified
Genetically modified food
Genetically modified foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms . Genetically modified organisms have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques...

, and genetically modified soybeans are being used in an increasing number of products. In 1995, Monsanto Company introduced Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans that have been genetically modified to be resistant to Monsanto's herbicide Roundup through substitution of the Agrobacterium
Agrobacterium
Agrobacterium is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria established by H. J. Conn that uses horizontal gene transfer to cause tumors in plants. Agrobacterium tumefaciens is the most commonly studied species in this genus...

 sp.
(strain CP4) gene
Gene
A gene is a molecular unit of heredity of a living organism. It is a name given to some stretches of DNA and RNA that code for a type of protein or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. Living beings depend on genes, as they specify all proteins and functional RNA chains...

 EPSP (5-enolpyruvyl shikimic acid-3-phosphate) synthase. The substituted version is not sensitive to glyphosate.

In 1997, about 8% of all soybeans cultivated for the commercial market in the United States were genetically modified. In 2010, the figure was 93%. As with other "Roundup Ready" crops, concern is expressed over damage to biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

. A 2003 study concluded the RR gene had been bred into so many different soybean cultivars, there had been little decline in genetic diversity, but "diversity was limited among elite lines from some companies".

The widespread use of such types of GM soybeans in the Americas has caused problems with exports to some regions. GM crops require extensive certification before they can be legally imported into the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, where there is considerable supplier and consumer reluctance to use GM products for consumer or animal use. Difficulties with coexistence
Co-existence of genetically modified and conventional crops and derived food and feed
In the context of agriculture and food and feed production, co-existence means using cropping systems with and without genetically modified organisms in parallel. For co-existence to be assured, the separation and the identity of the respective food and feed products must be maintained at all...

 and subsequent traces of cross-contamination of non-GM stocks have caused shipments to be rejected and have put a premium on non-GM soy.

A 2006 United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 report found the adoption of genetically engineered (GE) soy, corn and cotton reduced the amount of pesticides used overall, but did result in a slightly greater amount of herbicide
Herbicide
Herbicides, also commonly known as weedkillers, are pesticides used to kill unwanted plants. Selective herbicides kill specific targets while leaving the desired crop relatively unharmed. Some of these act by interfering with the growth of the weed and are often synthetic "imitations" of plant...

s used for soy specifically. The use of GE soy was also associated with greater conservation tillage
No-till farming
No-till farming is a way of growing crops from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage. No-till is an agricultural technique which increases the amount of water and organic matter in the soil and decreases erosion...

, indirectly leading to better soil conservation, as well as increased income from off-farming sources due to the greater ease with which the crops can be managed. Most farmers adopted the GE crops to improve yields, save time and reduce the amount of money spent on pesticides. The use of GE soy also permits the use of a herbicide that is less toxic to humans. Though the overall estimated benefits of the adoption of GE soybeans in the United States was $310 million, the majority of this benefit was experienced by the companies selling the seeds (40%), followed by biotechnology firms (28%) and farmers (20%).

In 2010, a team of American scientists announced they had decoded the genome of the soybean - the first legume to be sequenced.

Uses

Approximately 85% of the world's soybean crop is processed into soybean meal and vegetable oil. Soybeans can be broadly classified as "vegetable" (garden) or field (oil) types. Vegetable types cook more easily, have a mild, nutty flavor, better texture, are larger in size, higher in protein, and lower in oil than field types. Tofu
Tofu
is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is part of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and others. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu...

 and soy milk
Soy milk
Soy milk and sometimes referred to as soy drink/beverage is a beverage made from soybeans. A stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein, it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water...

 producers prefer the higher protein cultivars bred from vegetable soybeans originally brought to the United States in the late 1930s. The "garden" cultivars are generally not suitable for mechanical combine harvesting because there is a tendency for the pods to shatter upon reaching maturity.

Among the legumes, the soybean, also classed as an oilseed, is preeminent for its high (38–45%) protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 content as well as its high (20%) oil content. Soybeans are the second-most valuable agricultural export in the United States behind corn. The bulk of the soybean crop is grown for oil production, with the high-protein defatted and "toasted" soy meal used as livestock feed. A smaller percentage of soybeans are used directly for human consumption.

Immature soybeans may be boiled whole in their green pods and served with salt
Edible salt
Salt, also known as table salt, or rock salt, is a mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride , a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of ionic salts. It is essential for animal life in small quantities, but is harmful to animals and plants in excess...

, under the Japanese name . In English, these soybeans are generally known as "edamame" or "green vegetable soybeans".

In China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, and Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, the bean and products made from it are a popular part of the diet. The Chinese invented tofu (豆腐 dòufu), and also made use of several varieties of soybean paste as seasonings. Japanese foods made from soya include miso
Miso
is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus , the most typical miso being made with soy. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso...

(味噌), nattō
Natto
is a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis. It is popular especially as a breakfast food. As a rich source of protein and probiotics, nattō and the soybean paste miso formed a vital source of nutrition in feudal Japan. Nattō can be an acquired taste because...

(納豆), kinako
Kinako
, also known as soybean flour, is a product commonly used in Japanese cuisine. Kinako is produced by finely grinding roasted soybeans into powder.Kinako, being composed of soybeans, is a healthy topping and flavoring which contains B vitamins and protein....

(黄粉) and edamame (枝豆). Also many kinds of food are produced using tofu such as atsuage, aburaage, and so on. In Korean cuisine, soybean sprouts, called kongnamul
Kongnamul
Kongnamul, an example of Korean cuisine, refers to a seasoned banchan made from soybean sprouts, as well as being a term for the sprouts themselves in the Korean language...

(콩나물), are also used in a variety of dishes, and are also the base ingredient in doenjang
Doenjang
Doenjang is a traditional Korean fermented soybean paste. Its name literally means "thick paste" in Korean.-Production:...

, cheonggukjang
Cheonggukjang
Cheonggukjang is a fermented soybean paste used in Korean cuisine. It contains whole as well as ground soybeans.- Production :It can be made in 2 to 3 days through fermentation of boiled soybeans, adding Bacillus subtilis, which is usually contained in the air or in the jip, dried rice plants,...

and ganjang. In Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, soybeans are used to make soybean paste- tương
Tuong
Tương is the name applied to a variety of condiments a kind of fermented bean paste made from soybean and commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine....

in the North with the most popular products are tương Bần, tương Nam Đàn, tương Cự Đà as a garnish for phở
PHO
PHO may refer to:* Primary Health Organisation* Potentially hazardous object, an asteroid or comet that could potentially collide with Earth...

and gỏi cuốn dishes), tofu (đậu hũ or đậu phụ or tàu hũ), soya sauce (nước tương, literally: soya water), soya milk (nước đậu in the North or sữa đậu nành in the South), and đậu hũ nước đường (tofu sweet soup).

The beans can be processed in a variety of ways. Common forms of soy (or soya) include soy meal, soy flour, soy milk, tofu, textured vegetable protein
Textured vegetable protein
Textured or texturized vegetable protein , also known as textured soy protein , soy meat, or soya meat is a meat analogue or meat extender made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil...

 (TVP, which is made into a wide variety of vegetarian foods, some of them intended to imitate meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

), tempeh
Tempeh
Tempeh , or tempe , is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty...

, soy lecithin
Lecithin
Lecithin is a generic term to designate any group of yellow-brownish fatty substances occurring in animal and plant tissues, and in egg yolk, composed of phosphoric acid, choline, fatty acids, glycerol, glycolipids, triglycerides, and phospholipids .The word lecithin was originally coined in 1847 by...

 and soybean oil. Soybeans are also the primary ingredient involved in the production of soy sauce
Soy sauce
Soy sauce is a condiment produced by fermenting soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds, along with water and salt...

 (shoyu).

Archer Daniels Midland
Archer Daniels Midland
The Archer Daniels Midland Company is a conglomerate headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. ADM operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide.ADM was named the...

 (ADM) is among the largest processors of soybeans and soy products. ADM, along with Dow Chemical Company
Dow Chemical Company
The Dow Chemical Company is a multinational corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. As of 2007, it is the second largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization .Dow...

, DuPont
DuPont
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...

 and Monsanto Company, support the industry trade associations United Soybean Board and Soyfoods Association of North America. These trade associations have increased the consumption of soy products dramatically in recent years.

Oil

Soybean seed contains about 19% oil. To extract soybean oil from seed, the soybeans are cracked, adjusted for moisture content, rolled into flakes and solvent-extracted with commercial hexane. The oil is then refined, blended for different applications, and sometimes hydrogenated. Soybean oils, both liquid and partially hydrogenated, are exported abroad, sold as "vegetable oil", or end up in a wide variety of processed foods. The remaining soybean meal is used mainly as animal feed.

Meal

Soybean meal is the material remaining after solvent extraction of oil from soybean flakes, with a 50% soy protein
Soy protein
Soy protein is a protein that is isolated from soybean. It is made from dehulled, defatted soybean meal. Dehulled and defatted soybeans are processed into three kinds of high protein commercial products : soy flour, concentrates, and isolates. Soy protein isolate has been used since 1959 in foods ...

 content. The meal is 'toasted' (a misnomer
Misnomer
A misnomer is a term which suggests an interpretation that is known to be untrue. Such incorrect terms sometimes derive their names because of the form, action, or origin of the subject becoming named popularly or widely referenced—long before their true natures were known.- Sources of misnomers...

 because the heat treatment is with moist steam) and ground in a hammer mill. Soybean meal is an essential element of the American production method of growing farm animals, such as poultry
Poultry
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...

 and swine
Domestic pig
The domestic pig is a domesticated animal that traces its ancestry to the wild boar, and is considered a subspecies of the wild boar or a distinct species in its own right. It is likely the wild boar was domesticated as early as 13,000 BC in the Tigris River basin...

, on an industrial scale that began in the 1930s; and more recently the aquaculture
Aquaculture
Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the...

 of catfish
Catfish
Catfishes are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores...

. Ninety-eight percent of the U.S. soybean crop is used for livestock feed. Soybean meal is also used in lower-end dog food
Dog food
Dog food refers to food specifically intended for consumption by dogs. Though technically omnivorous, dogs exhibit a natural carnivorous bias, have sharp, pointy teeth, and have short gastrointestinal tracts better suited for the consumption of meat...

s.

Flour

Soy flour refers to defatted soybeans ground finely enough to pass through a 100-mesh or smaller screen where special care was taken during desolventizing (not toasted) to minimize denaturation
Denaturation (biochemistry)
Denaturation is a process in which proteins or nucleic acids lose their tertiary structure and secondary structure by application of some external stress or compound, such as a strong acid or base, a concentrated inorganic salt, an organic solvent , or heat...

 of the protein to retain a high Protein Dispersibility Index
Protein Dispersibility Index
The Protein Dispersibility Index is a means of comparing the solubility of a protein in water, and is widely used in the soybean product industry....

 (PDI), for uses such as extruder cooking of textured vegetable protein
Textured vegetable protein
Textured or texturized vegetable protein , also known as textured soy protein , soy meat, or soya meat is a meat analogue or meat extender made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil...

. It is the starting material for production of soy concentrate and soy protein isolate.
  • Defatted soy flour is obtained from solvent extracted flakes, and contains less than 1% oil.
  • Full-fat soy flour is made from unextracted, dehulled beans, and contains about 18% to 20% oil. Due to its high oil content, a specialized Alpine Fine Impact Mill must be used for grinding rather than the more common hammer mill.
  • Low-fat soy flour is made by adding back some oil to defatted soy flour. The lipid content varies according to specifications, usually between 4.5% and 9%.
  • High-fat soy flour can also be produced by adding back soybean oil to defatted flour at the level of 15%.
  • Lecithinated soy flour is made by adding soybean lecithin
    Lecithin
    Lecithin is a generic term to designate any group of yellow-brownish fatty substances occurring in animal and plant tissues, and in egg yolk, composed of phosphoric acid, choline, fatty acids, glycerol, glycolipids, triglycerides, and phospholipids .The word lecithin was originally coined in 1847 by...

     to defatted, low-fat or high-fat soy flours to increase their dispersibility and impart emulsifying properties. The lecithin content varies up to 15%.

Reference: Soybeans: Chemistry and Technology. page 442. A.K. Smith and S.J. Circle. The AVI Publishing Company,1972.

Infant formula

Soy-based infant formula
Infant formula
Infant formula is a manufactured food designed and marketed for feeding to babies and infants under 12 months of age, usually prepared for bottle-feeding or cup-feeding from powder or liquid . The U.S...

 (SBIF) is used for infants who are allergic to pasteurized cow milk proteins. It is sold in powdered, ready-to-feed, and concentrated liquid forms.

Some reviews have expressed the opinion that more research is needed to determine what effect the phytoestrogens in soybeans may have on infants. Diverse studies have concluded there are no adverse effects in human growth, development, or reproduction as a result of the consumption of soy-based infant formula. One of these studies, published in the Journal of Nutrition
Journal of Nutrition
The Journal of Nutrition is one of two academic journals published by the American Society for Nutrition. It is freely accessible to the public after a 12 month embargo. It was started in 1928 and has an impact factor of 3.77, making it the 3rd among peer-reviewed journals in ISI's nutrition and...

, concludes that there are:

...no clinical concerns with respect to nutritional adequacy, sexual development, neurobehavioral development, immune development, or thyroid disease. SBIFs provide complete nutrition that adequately supports normal infant growth and development. FDA has accepted SBIFs as safe for use as the sole source of nutrition.

Meat and dairy substitutes and extenders

Soybeans can be processed to produce a texture and appearance similar to many other foods. For example, soybeans are the primary ingredient in many dairy product
Dairy product
Dairy products are generally defined as foods produced from cow's or domestic buffalo's milk. They are usually high-energy-yielding food products. A production plant for such processing is called a dairy or a dairy factory. Raw milk for processing comes mainly from cows, and, to a lesser extent,...

 substitutes (e.g., soy milk
Soy milk
Soy milk and sometimes referred to as soy drink/beverage is a beverage made from soybeans. A stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein, it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water...

, margarine
Margarine
Margarine , as a generic term, can indicate any of a wide range of butter substitutes, typically composed of vegetable oils. In many parts of the world, the market share of margarine and spreads has overtaken that of butter...

, soy ice cream, soy yogurt
Soy yogurt
Soy yogurt, also referred to as Soya yogurt, Soygurt or Yofu , is yogurt prepared with soy milk.-Ingredients:...

, soy cheese
Soy cheese
Cheese analogues are cheese substitutes made most frequently from soybeans but also made from rice, almonds, nutritional yeast and other non-dairy ingredients. Cheese analogues, just like plant-based milk substitutes, are available in many of the same varieties as their cheese counterparts...

, and soy cream cheese) and meat substitutes (e.g. veggie burgers). These substitutes are readily available in most supermarket
Supermarket
A supermarket, a form of grocery store, is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments...

s. Soy milk does not naturally contain significant amounts of digestible calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

. Many manufacturers of soy milk sell calcium-enriched products, as well. Soy is also used in tempeh
Tempeh
Tempeh , or tempe , is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty...

: the beans (sometimes mixed with grain) are fermented into a solid cake.

Soy products also are used as a low-cost substitute in meat and poultry products. Food service, retail and institutional (primarily school lunch and correctional) facilities regularly use such "extended" products. Extension may result in diminished flavor, but fat and cholesterol are reduced. Vitamin and mineral fortification can be used to make soy products nutritionally equivalent to animal protein; the protein quality is already roughly equivalent. The soy-based meat substitute textured vegetable protein
Textured vegetable protein
Textured or texturized vegetable protein , also known as textured soy protein , soy meat, or soya meat is a meat analogue or meat extender made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil...

 has been used for more than 50 years as a way of inexpensively extending ground beef without reducing its nutritional value.

Other products

Soybeans with black hulls are the beans used in Chinese fermented black beans, douchi
Douchi
Douchi , also called Chinese fermented black beans , is a flavoring most popular in the cuisine of China, and is used to make black bean sauce....

, not the sometimes confused black turtle beans.

Soybeans are also used in industrial products, including oils, soap
Soap
In chemistry, soap is a salt of a fatty acid.IUPAC. "" Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. . Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford . XML on-line corrected version: created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN...

, cosmetics
Cosmetics
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

, resin
Resin
Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

s, plastic
Plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

s, ink
Ink
Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments and/or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing and/or writing with a pen, brush, or quill...

s, crayon
Crayon
A crayon is a stick of colored wax, charcoal, chalk, or other materials used for writing, coloring, drawing, and other methods of illustration. A crayon made of oiled chalk is called an oil pastel; when made of pigment with a dry binder, it is simply a pastel; both are popular media for color...

s, solvent
Solvent
A solvent is a liquid, solid, or gas that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent at a specified temperature...

s, and clothing
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

. Soybean oil is the primary source of biodiesel
Biodiesel
Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol....

 in the United States, accounting for 80% of domestic biodiesel production. Soybeans have also been used since 2001 as fermenting stock in the manufacture of a brand of vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

. In 1936, Ford Motor Company developed a method where soybeans and fibers were rolled together producing a soup which was then pressed into various parts for their cars, from the distributor cap to knobs on the dash board. Ford also informed in public relation releases that in 1935 over 5 million acres (20,234.3 km²)s was dedicated to growing soybeans in the United States.

Cattle feed

Cattle are often fed soy. Spring grasses are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, whereas soy is predominantly omega-6.

Cancer

Several large population studies have shown, that consumption of soy foods is associated with a reduction in prostate cancer
Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may metastasize from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly...

 risk in men, is significantly associated with decreased risk of death and recurrence of breast cancer
Breast cancer
Breast cancer is cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas...

 among women and may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer, commonly known as bowel cancer, is a cancer caused by uncontrolled cell growth , in the colon, rectum, or vermiform appendix. Colorectal cancer is clinically distinct from anal cancer, which affects the anus....

 in postmenopausal women.

Brain

Recent studies have shown improvement in cognitive function, particularly verbal memory, and in frontal lobe
Frontal lobe
The frontal lobe is an area in the brain of humans and other mammals, located at the front of each cerebral hemisphere and positioned anterior to the parietal lobe and superior and anterior to the temporal lobes...

 function with the use of soy supplements.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, alpha-linolenic acid
Alpha-linolenic acid
α-Linolenic acid is an organic compound found in many common vegetable oils. In terms of its structure, it is named all-cis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid. In physiological literature, it is given the name 18:3 ....

 C18-3, all cis, 9,12,15 octadecatrienoic acid (where the omega-3 refers to carbon number 3 counting from the hydrocarbon tail, whereas C-15 refers to carbon number 15 counting from the carboxyl acid head) are special fat components that benefit many body functions. Some beneficial effects are associated mainly with the longer-chain fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid
Eicosapentaenoic acid
Eicosapentaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid. In physiological literature, it is given the name 20:5. It also has the trivial name timnodonic acid...

 (20:5n-3, EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid
Docosahexaenoic acid
Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain and retina. In chemical structure, DHA is a carboxylic acid with a 22-carbon chain and six cis double bonds; the first double bond is located at the third carbon from the omega end...

 (22:6n-3, DHA) found in some algae and oily fish
Oily fish
Oily fish have oil in their tissues and in the belly cavity around the gut. Their fillets contain up to 30 percent oil, although this figure varies both within and between species...

. For instance, EPA and DHA inhibit blood clotting, while there is no evidence alpha-linolenic acid
Alpha-linolenic acid
α-Linolenic acid is an organic compound found in many common vegetable oils. In terms of its structure, it is named all-cis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid. In physiological literature, it is given the name 18:3 ....

 (18:3n−3, aLNA) can do this. Nevertheless, soybean oil is one of the few common vegetable oils that contain a significant amount of aLNA (others include canola
Canola
Canola refers to a cultivar of either Rapeseed or Field Mustard . Its seeds are used to produce edible oil suitable for consumption by humans and livestock. The oil is also suitable for use as biodiesel.Originally, Canola was bred naturally from rapeseed in Canada by Keith Downey and Baldur R...

, walnut
Walnut
Juglans is a plant genus of the family Juglandaceae, the seeds of which are known as walnuts. They are deciduous trees, 10–40 meters tall , with pinnate leaves 200–900 millimetres long , with 5–25 leaflets; the shoots have chambered pith, a character shared with the wingnuts , but not the hickories...

, hemp
Hemp
Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

, and flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

). Soybean oil has a better omega-3:omega6 ratio of 1:7, much higher than other vegetable cooking oils. While flaxseed is even higher with a ratio of 3:1, it is not practical for cooking.

Isoflavones

Soybeans also contain the isoflavone
Isoflavone
Isoflavones comprise a class of organic compounds, often naturally occurring, related to the isoflavonoids. Many act as phytoestrogens in mammals...

s genistein
Genistein
Genistein is one of several known isoflavones. Isoflavones, such as genistein and daidzein, are found in a number of plants including lupin, fava beans, soybeans, kudzu, and psoralea being the primary food source, also in the medicinal plant, Flemingia vestita and coffee Besides functioning as...

 and daidzein
Daidzein
Daidzein belongs to the group of isoflavones. Daidzein and other isoflavone compounds, such as genistein, are present in a number of plants and herbs like the Thai Kwao Krua or Pueraria mirifica, Kudzu or Pueraria lobata, and in food sources such as soybeans and soy products like tofu and textured...

, types of phytoestrogen, that are considered by some dietitians and physicians to be useful in the prevention of cancer and by others to be carcinogenic and endocrine disruptive.
Soy's content of isoflavones are as much as 3 mg/g dry weight. Isoflavones are polyphenol compounds, produced primarily by beans and other legumes, including peanut
Peanut
The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume or "bean" family , so it is not a nut. The peanut was probably first cultivated in the valleys of Peru. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing tall...

s and chickpea
Chickpea
The chickpea is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae...

s. Isoflavones are closely related to the antioxidant flavonoid
Flavonoid
Flavonoids , are a class of plant secondary metabolites....

s found in other plants, vegetables and flowers. Isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein are found in only some plant families, because most plants do not have an enzyme, chalcone isomerase which converts a flavone precursor into an isoflavone.

In contradiction to well known benefits of isoflavones, genistein acts as an oxidant (stimulating nitrate synthesis), and blocks formation of new blood vessels (antiangiogenic effect). Some studies show that genistein acts as inhibitor of substances that regulate cell division and cell survival (growth factors).

A review of the available studies by the United States Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is a part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which supports research designed to improve the outcomes and quality of health care, reduce its costs, address patient safety and medical errors, and broaden access to effective...

 (AHRQ) found little evidence of substantial health improvements and no adverse effects, but also noted that there was no long-term safety data on estrogenic effects from soy consumption.

Glyceollins

Glyceollin
Glyceollin
Glyceollins are a family of prenylated pterocarpan found in ineffective types of nodule in soybean in response to symbiotic infection. They are phytoalexins with an antiestrogenic activity.Molecules found in the family are :* Glyceollin I* Glyceollin II...

s are molecules belonging to the pterocarpans family. They are also found in the soybean and have been found to have an antifungal
Antifungal protein
In molecular biology, proteins in the antifungal protein family consist of five antiparallel beta strands which are highly twisted creating a beta barrel stabilised by four internal disulphide bridges. A cationic site adjacent to a hydrophobic stretch on the protein surface may constitute a...

 activity against Aspergillus sojae
Aspergillus sojae
Aspergillus sojae is a mold species in the genus Aspergillus.In Japan it is used to make the ferment of soy sauce, the mirin and other lacto-fermented condiments like tsukemono...

, the fungal ferment used to produce soy sauce. They are phytoalexin
Phytoalexin
Phytoalexins are antimicrobial substances synthesized de novo by plants that accumulate rapidly at areas of incompatible pathogen infection. They are broad spectrum inhibitors and are chemically diverse with different types characteristic of particular plant species...

s with an antiestrogenic activity.

Cholesterol and heart diseases

The dramatic increase in soyfood sales is largely credited to the Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments...

's (FDA) approval of soy as an official cholesterol-lowering food, along with other heart and health benefits. A 2001 literature review
Literature review
A literature review is a body of text that aims to review the critical points of current knowledge including substantive findings as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic...

 argued that these health benefits were poorly supported by the available evidence, and noted that disturbing data on soy's effect on the cognitive function of the elderly existed. In 2008, an epidemiological study of 719 Indonesian elderly found that tofu intake was associated with worse memory, but tempeh
Tempeh
Tempeh , or tempe , is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty...

 (a fermented soy product) intake was associated with better memory. This study replicated other studies.

In 1995, the New England Journal of Medicine (Vol. 333, No. 5) published "Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids", financed in part by DuPont Protein Technologies International (PTI), which produces and markets soy through The Solae Company (see external links). The meta-analysis concluded that soy protein is correlated with significant decreases in serum cholesterol, LDL
Low density lipoprotein
Low-density lipoprotein is one of the five major groups of lipoproteins, which in order of size, largest to smallest, are chylomicrons, VLDL, IDL, LDL, and HDL, that enable transport of cholesterol within the water-based bloodstream...

 (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. However, HDL
High density lipoprotein
High-density lipoprotein is one of the five major groups of lipoproteins, which, in order of sizes, largest to smallest, are chylomicrons, VLDL, IDL, LDL, and HDL, which enable lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides to be transported within the water-based bloodstream...

 (good cholesterol) did not increase by a significant amount. Soy phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are plant-derived xenoestrogens functioning as the primary female sex hormone not generated within the endocrine system but consumed by eating phytoestrogonic plants...

 (isoflavones: genistein and daidzein) adsorbed onto the soy protein were suggested as the agent reducing serum cholesterol levels. On the basis of this research PTI filed a petition with FDA in 1998 for a health claim that soy protein may reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

The FDA granted the following health claim for soy: "25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." One serving, (1 cup or 240 mL) of soy milk, for instance, contains 6 or 7 grams of soy protein. Solae resubmitted their original petition, asking for a more vague health claim, after their original was challenged and highly criticized. Solae also submitted a petition for a health claim that soy can help prevent cancer. They quickly withdrew the petition for lack of evidence and after more than 1,000 letters of protest were received. On February 18, 2008 Weston A. Price Foundation submitted a petition for removal of this health claim. 25 g/day soy protein was established as the threshold intake because most trials used at least this much protein and not because less than this amount is inefficacious. In fact, there is evidence suggesting that lower amounts are indeed efficacious.

An American Heart Association review of a decade long study of soy protein benefits casts doubt on the FDA allowed "Heart Healthy" claim for soy protein and does not recommend isoflavone supplementation. The review panel also found that soy isoflavones have not been shown to reduce post menopause "hot flashes" in women and the efficacy and safety of isoflavones to help prevent cancers of the breast, uterus or prostate is in question. However, AHA concludes that "many soy products should be beneficial to cardiovascular and overall health because of their high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and low content of saturated fat".

Importantly, however, the AHA did not conduct a formal statistical analysis of the 22 studies upon which they based their estimate of the potency of soy protein. When such an analysis was conducted, Jenkins et al. found that the AHA had considerably underestimated the hypocholesterolemic effects of soy protein. Further, when the analysis was limited to the 11 studies that provided evidence that the control and soy diets were matched, soy protein was found to lower LDL by 5.2 percent. This estimate is in line with the results of other recently published meta-analyses. Furthermore, recent research suggests that soy protein decreases postprandial triglyceride levels, which is increasingly viewed as important for reducing CHD risk.

Phytic acid

Soybeans contain a high level of phytic acid, which has many effects including acting as an antioxidant and a chelating agent. The beneficial claims for phytic acid include reducing cancer, minimizing diabetes, and reducing inflammation. However, phytic acid is also criticized for reducing vital minerals due to its chelating effect, especially for diets already low in minerals.

Allergy

Allergy to soy is common, and the food is listed with other foods that commonly cause allergy, such as milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish. The problem has been reported among younger children and the diagnosis of soy allergy is often based on symptoms reported by parents and/or results of skin tests or blood tests for allergy. Only a few reported studies have attempted to confirm allergy to soy by direct challenge with the food under controlled conditions. It is very difficult to give a reliable estimate of the true prevalence of soy allergy in the general population. To the extent that it does exist, soy allergy may cause cases of urticaria
Urticaria
Urticaria is a kind of skin rash notable for pale red, raised, itchy bumps. Hives is frequently caused by allergic reactions; however, there are many non-allergic causes...

 and angioedema
Angioedema
Angioedema or Quincke's edema is the rapid swelling of the dermis, subcutaneous tissue, mucosa and submucosal tissues. It is very similar to urticaria, but urticaria, commonly known as hives, occurs in the upper dermis...

, usually within minutes to hours of ingestion. In rare cases, true anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is defined as "a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death". It typically results in a number of symptoms including throat swelling, an itchy rash, and low blood pressure...

 may also occur. The reason for the discrepancy is likely that soy proteins, the causative factor in allergy, are far less potent at triggering allergy symptoms than the proteins of peanut and shellfish. An allergy test that is positive demonstrates that the immune system has formed IgE antibodies to soy proteins. However, this is only a factor when soy proteins reach the blood without being digested, in sufficient quantities to reach a threshold to provoke actual symptoms.

Soy can also trigger symptoms via food intolerance
Food intolerance
Food intolerance or non-allergic food hypersensitivity is a term used widely for varied physiological responses associated with a particular food, or compound found in a range of foods....

, a situation where no allergic mechanism can be proven. One scenario is seen in very young infants who have vomiting
Vomiting
Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose...

 and diarrhoea
Diarrhea
Diarrhea , also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. It is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and...

 when fed soy-based formula, which resolves when the formula is withdrawn. Older infants can suffer a more severe disorder with vomiting, diarrhoea that may be bloody, anemia
Anemia
Anemia is a decrease in number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin...

, weight loss and failure to thrive. The most common cause of this unusual disorder is a sensitivity to cow's milk, but soy formulas can also be the trigger. The precise mechanism is unclear and it could be immunologic, although not through the IgE-type antibodies that have the leading role in urticaria and anaphylaxis. Fortunately it is also self-limiting and will often disappear in the toddler years.

Phytoestrogen

Soybeans contain isoflavones called genistein
Genistein
Genistein is one of several known isoflavones. Isoflavones, such as genistein and daidzein, are found in a number of plants including lupin, fava beans, soybeans, kudzu, and psoralea being the primary food source, also in the medicinal plant, Flemingia vestita and coffee Besides functioning as...

 and daidzein
Daidzein
Daidzein belongs to the group of isoflavones. Daidzein and other isoflavone compounds, such as genistein, are present in a number of plants and herbs like the Thai Kwao Krua or Pueraria mirifica, Kudzu or Pueraria lobata, and in food sources such as soybeans and soy products like tofu and textured...

, which are one source of phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are plant-derived xenoestrogens functioning as the primary female sex hormone not generated within the endocrine system but consumed by eating phytoestrogonic plants...

 in the human diet. Because most naturally occurring estrogenic substances show weak activity, normal consumption of foods that contain these phytoestrogens should not provide sufficient amounts to elicit a physiological response in humans.

Plant lignans associated with high fiber foods such as cereal brans and beans are the principal precursor to mammalian lignans which have an ability to bind to human estrogen sites. Soybeans are a significant source of mammalian lignan precursor secoisolariciresinol
Secoisolariciresinol
Secoisolariciresinol is a lignan, a type of phenylpropanoids....

 containing 13–273 µg/100 g dry weight. Another phytoestrogen in the human diet with estrogen activity is coumestans, which are found in beans, split-peas, with the best sources being alfalfa, clover, and soybean sprouts. Coumestrol
Coumestrol
Coumestrol is a natural organic compound in the class of phytochemicals known as coumestans. It has garnered research interest because of its estrogenic activity and its prevalence in some foods, such as soybeans....

, an isoflavone coumarin
Coumarin
Coumarin is a fragrant chemical compound in the benzopyrone chemical class, found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean , vanilla grass , sweet woodruff , mullein , sweet grass , cassia cinnamon and sweet clover...

 derivative is the only coumestan in foods.

Soybeans and processed soy foods are among the richest foods in total phytoestrogens (wet basis per 100g), which are present primarily in the form of the isoflavones daidzein and genistein.

Women

A 2001 literature review suggested that women with current or past breast cancer
Breast cancer
Breast cancer is cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas...

 should be aware of the risks of potential tumor growth when taking soy products, based on the effect of phytoestrogens to promote breast cancer cell growth in animals. A 2006 commentary reviewed the relationship with soy and breast cancer. They stated that soy may prevent breast cancer, but cautioned that the impact of isoflavones on breast tissue needs to be evaluated at the cellular level in women at high risk for breast cancer. A high consumption of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are found in most types of vegetable oil including soybean oil, may increase the likelihood that postmenopausal women will develop breast cancer. Another analysis suggests an inverse association between total polyunsaturated fatty acids and breast cancer risk. A 2011 analysis of the literature concluded that:- "Our study suggests soy isoflavones intake is associated with a significant reduced risk of breast cancer incidence in Asian populations, but not in Western populations." But, also note that the study says that the beneficial affects on women was only studied in the Asian populations, not in the Western populations.

In a recent (August 2011) trial the daily administration of tablets containing 200 mg of soy isoflavones for 2 years did not prevent bone loss or menopausal symptoms.

Men

Because of the phytoestrogen content, some studies have suggested that soybean ingestion may influence testosterone
Testosterone
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in mammals, reptiles, birds, and other vertebrates. In mammals, testosterone is primarily secreted in the testes of males and the ovaries of females, although small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands...

 levels in men. However, a 2010 meta-analysis of 15 placebo controlled studies showed that neither soy foods nor isoflavone supplements alter measures of bioavailable testosterone
Testosterone
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in mammals, reptiles, birds, and other vertebrates. In mammals, testosterone is primarily secreted in the testes of males and the ovaries of females, although small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands...

 or estrogen
Estrogen
Estrogens , oestrogens , or œstrogens, are a group of compounds named for their importance in the estrous cycle of humans and other animals. They are the primary female sex hormones. Natural estrogens are steroid hormones, while some synthetic ones are non-steroidal...

 concentrations in men. It has been hypothesized that soy foods and enterolactone may increase the development of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may metastasize from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly...

 although no significant associations were observed for the soy isoflavones. Furthermore, soy consumption has been shown to have no effect on the levels and quality of sperm
Sperm
The term sperm is derived from the Greek word sperma and refers to the male reproductive cells. In the types of sexual reproduction known as anisogamy and oogamy, there is a marked difference in the size of the gametes with the smaller one being termed the "male" or sperm cell...

. A 2009 meta-analysis of the research on the association between soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men concluded that "consumption of soy foods is associated with a reduction in prostate cancer risk in men."

Brain

There is evidence that estrogen can help protect and repair the brain after injury, and it has been suggested that the phytoestrogens in soy may have a similar effect though this is controversial and there is also evidence that phytoestrogens may be harmful for the recovery of rats that have sustained brain injury. A study of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese men between 1965 and 1999 demonstrated a positive correlation between brain atrophy and consumption of tofu. A study on elderly Indonesian men and women found that high tofu intake was associated with poorer memory, while the consumption of tempeh was associated with better memory.

Carcinogenicity

Though raw soy flour is known to cause pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer refers to a malignant neoplasm of the pancreas. The most common type of pancreatic cancer, accounting for 95% of these tumors is adenocarcinoma, which arises within the exocrine component of the pancreas. A minority arises from the islet cells and is classified as a...

 in rats the cooked flour has not been found carcinogen
Carcinogen
A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes...

ic. Whether soy might promote pancreatic cancer in humans is unknown because studies have not yet attempted to single out soy intake and the incidence of pancreatic cancer in humans, and the amount of soy fed to the rats is proportionately far larger than what humans would normally consume. However, the soy isoflavone genistein has been suggested as a chemopreventive agent against pancreatic cancer, by interfering with the chemical pathways that promote the creation and growth of tumors.

The Cancer Council of New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

, Australia has released a statement saying scientific research suggests that overall the moderate consumption of soy products does not appear to present a risk to women with breast cancer, and there is equivocal evidence that consuming large amounts of soy products may have a protective effect against developing breast and prostate cancer. However, the Council does not recommend taking soy dietary supplement
Dietary supplement
A dietary supplement, also known as food supplement or nutritional supplement, is a preparation intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, that may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities in a person's diet...

s as there is no evidence they are either effective or safe at preventing or treating cancers.

Soybean futures

Soybean futures
Futures contract
In finance, a futures contract is a standardized contract between two parties to exchange a specified asset of standardized quantity and quality for a price agreed today with delivery occurring at a specified future date, the delivery date. The contracts are traded on a futures exchange...

 are traded on the Chicago Board of Trade
Chicago Board of Trade
The Chicago Board of Trade , established in 1848, is the world's oldest futures and options exchange. More than 50 different options and futures contracts are traded by over 3,600 CBOT members through open outcry and eTrading. Volumes at the exchange in 2003 were a record breaking 454 million...

 and have delivery dates in January (F), March (H), May (K), July (N), August (Q), September (U), November (X).

It is also traded on other commodity futures exchanges under different contract specifications:
  • SAFEX: The South African Futures Exchange
    The South African Futures Exchange
    The South African Futures Exchange consists of a financial markets division and an Agricultural Markets Division - agricultural derivatives....

  • DC: Dalian Commodity Exchange
    Dalian commodity exchange
    The Dalian Commodity Exchange is a Chinese futures exchange based in Dalian. It is a non-profit, self-regulating and membership legal entity established on February 28, 1993....

  • KEX: Kansai Commodities Exchange
    Kansai Commodities Exchange
    Kansai Commodities Exchange is a futures exchange based in Osaka, Japan.Trading is conducted at six specified session times through the day...

     in Japan
  • TGE: Tokyo Grain Exchange in Japan
  • KCX: Fukuoka Commodity Exchange in Japan that was absorbed by the KEX
  • NCDEX: National Commodity and Derivaties Exchange, India.

See also

  • Edamame
    Edamame
    or Edamame bean is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod commonly found in Japan, China, and Hawaii. The pods are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt, and served whole....

  • Soy milk
    Soy milk
    Soy milk and sometimes referred to as soy drink/beverage is a beverage made from soybeans. A stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein, it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water...

  • Soy cheese
    Soy cheese
    Cheese analogues are cheese substitutes made most frequently from soybeans but also made from rice, almonds, nutritional yeast and other non-dairy ingredients. Cheese analogues, just like plant-based milk substitutes, are available in many of the same varieties as their cheese counterparts...

  • Tofu
    Tofu
    is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is part of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and others. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu...

  • Cash crop
    Cash crop
    In agriculture, a cash crop is a crop which is grown for profit.The term is used to differentiate from subsistence crops, which are those fed to the producer's own livestock or grown as food for the producer's family...

  • Nutrition
    Nutrition
    Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

  • Isoflavones
  • Soy allergy
    Soy allergy
    Soy allergy is a type of food allergy. It is a hypersensitivity to dietary substances from soy causing an overreaction of the immune system which may lead to severe physical symptoms for millions of people. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates soy is among the nine most common...

  • Soy molasses
    Soy molasses
    Soy molasses is brown viscous syrup with a typical bittersweet flavor. A by-product of aqueous alcohol soy protein concentrate production, soy molasses is a concentrated, desolventized, aqueous alcohol extract of defatted soybean flakes....

  • Soybean wars of Paraguay
    Soybean wars of Paraguay
    In the recent years, the soybean industry has grown exponentially in South America, primarily in Brazil and Argentina and Uruguay and Paraguay. For Paraguay especially, the results of this explosive growth have been considerably substantial...

  • Soybean management practices
    Soybean management practices
    Soybean management practices in farming are the decisions a producer must make in order to raise a soybean crop. The type of tillage, plant population, row spacing, and planting date are four major management decisions that soybean farmers must consider...


External links

  • New Crop Resource Online Program - Large collection of Soybean information
  • The Solae Company, producer and marketer of soy; a joint venture of DuPont
    DuPont
    E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...

     and Bunge Limited
    Bunge Limited
    Bunge Limited is a Bermudan food conglomerate with its headquarters in White Plains, New York. As well as being a leading global soybean exporter it is also involved in food processing, grain trading, and fertilizer...

    .

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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