Soybean (Glycine max), also called as Golden Bean is one of the most important global crop and is grown for oil and protein. It is an annual legume of the Fabaceae family. Present world production is about 176.6 million tons of beans over 75.5 million ha. USA, Brazil, Argentina, China and India are the largest soybean producing countries in the world. It is estimated that above 75% of the global output is crushed worldwide.
In 2013 over 75% of the cultivated area was in Latin and North America. The majority of plants self-pollinate producing 60-80 pods per plant, with each pod containing 2 and 4 beans. The beans, when harvested, contain about 20% oil and 40% protein.
The processed soybean is the largest source of protein feed and second largest source of vegetable oil in the world.
The major portion of the crop is used to yield soy oil and obtain Soymeal, which is widely used in the animal feed industry. Among major oilseeds, higher percentage of meal extracted from soybean is 82%. These characteristics make soybean important crop to meet the requirement human protein as well as for animal.