Soybean or soya bean is a species of legume (Glycine max) native to eastern Asia. It is classified as an oilseed rather than a pulse due to its high oil content and its more popular use as a source of vegetable oil and industrial applications such as biodiesel. It has been grown id China for over 5,000 years.
Soybean is one of the most versatile crops grown around the world. It has a raft of applications including a source of vegetable oil for human food and industrial uses, as a valued protein source in livestock production, for use in preparing a range of human foods such as traditional foods like tofu and soy milk as well as novel uses as a protein isolate and for textured protein. Soybean also has an almost endless application in industrial products such lubricants, plastics, waxes and a range of intermediate chemicals including fatty acids. And in more recent times, soybean has been recognised for its health and well being properties and is now used in a range of nutrition bars, cereals, pasta and baked goods.Soybeans make up about 60% of the overall world oilseed production. Soybeans are grown and traded across the globe and are considered one of the most important of global commodities. Of the average 260 million tonnes used worldwide each year about 10% is used directly for human foods, about 20% is extracted for oil and the remainder is used for livestock feeds.