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Glycine max or soybean is a kind of legume plant in East Asia. It is widely planted because of its edible beans and has many uses.

Fat free (defatted) soybean powder is an important and cheap protein source in animal feed and many packaging powder. For example, soy products, such as textured vegetable protein (TVP), are components of many meat and dairy substitutes. Beans contain a lot of phytic acid, dietary minerals and B vitamins. Soybean vegetable oil for food and industrial applications is another product for processing soybean crops. Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soymilk, which is made from soymilk and tofu skin. Fermented soybean food includes soy sauce, fermented bean paste, natto and bean temp.

100 grams of raw soybeans provide 446 calories and are 9% water, 30% carbohydrates, 20% total fat and 36% protein (table).

Soybean is a special source of essential nutrients, which can provide 100g (original, for reference only) of high daily value (DV), especially protein (36% DV), dietary fiber (37%), iron (121%), manganese (120%), phosphorus (101%) and several B vitamins, including folic acid (94%) (table). Vitamin K, magnesium, zinc and potassium are also high (table).

For human consumption, soybeans must be cooked "wet" and hot to destroy trypsin inhibitors (serine protease inhibitors). Raw soybeans, including immature green forms, are toxic to all monogastric animals.

Soybean is an important crop in the world, providing oil and protein. In the United States, most of the harvest is extracted with hexane, and then "baked" defatted soybean meal (50% protein) makes it possible to raise large-scale industrial livestock (such as chickens, pigs, turkeys). Soybean products are used in a variety of processed foods.

During the Second World War, soybeans were important in North America and Europe, mainly as substitutes for other protein foods and as a source of cooking oil. During the war, soybeans were discovered as fertilizer by the U.S. Department of agriculture.