The soybean has emerged as one of the most important agricultural commodities in the world, with a steady increase in annual production.

Currently, global production is estimated at 180 million metric tons. Major producers include the United States, Brazil, Argentina, China, and India. In any fiscal year, produce about half of the total world soybean harvest, with more than onethird of the U.S. production exported.
As a crop, soybeans have several favorable features. First, soybean has an ability to fix nitrogen, which makes it a good rotational crop. Second, soybeans are adaptable to a wide range of soils and climates. Third, soybean has the remarkable ability to produce more edible protein per acre of land than any other known crop.On average, dry soybean contains roughly 40% protein, 20% oil, 35% carbohydrate, and 5% ash. Thus, soybean has the highest protein content among cereal and other legume species, and the second-highest oil content among all food legumes. Fourth, soybean has versatile end uses. Broadly speaking, it can be used as human food, animal feed, and industrial material. Currently, the majority of annual soybean production is crushed into oil, for use in foods and food processing, and defatted meal, for use as animal feed. Only a small fraction is processed into whole-bean foods for direct human consumption.

For many years soybeans have been recognized as a powerhouse of nutrients.
The protein and oil components in soybeans are high in quality as well as in quantity. Soy oil contains a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, including oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids. The last two are essential fatty acids for humans. Soyprotein contains all the essential amino acids, most of which are present in amounts that closely match those required by humans or animals.


Large-seeded varieties of soybeans are prefered for making tofu. Large size is important in tofu soybeans because bigger beans swell more and make tofu production easier. These varieties often have light colored hilums and their seed coat and meat are a creamy yellow-white color, highly prized in tofu processing.

The soybean (U.S.) or soya bean (UK) (Glycine max) is a species of legume native to Eastern Asia. It has high (38–45%) protein content as well as its high (20%) oil content. The bulk of the soybean crop is grown for oil production, with the high-protein defatted and "toasted" soy meal used as livestock feed.

Small-seeded varieties of soybeans are typically used to make a food called natto, a sticky, brown substance made from fermented soybeans in Southern Japan.
Soybeans are divided into two classes based on color: Yellow soybeans and Mixed soybeans. There are no subclasses. Each class is divided into four numerical grades and U.S. Sample Grade. Special grades are provided to emphasize special qualities or conditions affecting the value and are added to and made a part of the grade designation. They do not affect the numerical or sample grade designation.

Soybean grade requirement
Maximum Limitsof ----
Foreignmaterial (%)
Splits (%)
Soybeans ofother colors (%) 1/
Heat (%)
Total (%)
U.S. No.1
U.S. No. 2
U.S. No. 3
1/ Disregardfor Mixed Soybeans