A Perfect Protein

Protein plays critical roles in health, developing structure and promoting growth and regulation. High-quality, nutrient-dense protein sources improve diets and strengthen food security. Soy, as a complete protein, contains all nine essential amino acids. That makes it a primary protein source for human nutrition and animal feed. About 85 percent of the world’s soybeans are crushed to separate the protein and oil. Another six percent feed people directly. In both forms, soy provides high-quality protein for diverse uses.

what happens with soybeansworld soybean meal use


Most soybean meal becomes high-quality, cost-effective protein feed for livestock, poultry and fish that convert it into bacon, ribs, wings, turkey legs, shrimp, fish fillets and more.

Global soybean meal use has been relatively constant over the past three years. China uses the most, followed by the U.S. and European Union. All of these regions have large, efficient pig and poultry industries, although the impact of animal and human diseases could impact the 2019-20 projections and influence trends in 2020-21 and beyond. (See article on page 18.)

As incomes rise in developing countries, so do appetites for high-quality proteins like chicken, pork and fish. The U.S. produces meat and poultry very efficiently, and production practices in developing regions of the world are evolving to mirror that efficiency. Decades of research have optimized soybean meal inclusion rates in livestock and poultry feed. If similar rates were to be adopted globally, the potential demand growth for soybean meal would be significant.

Aquaculture has the most potential for soy protein inclusion rates to grow both in the U.S. and around the world. Inclusion rates for many species have not yet been fully researched, and many operations have yet to adopt soy as a sustainable, renewable feed option.

potential animal world feed demand


Soybean meal delivers ideal ratios of essential amino acids for many animal diets at competitive prices. Other protein sources may require synthetic amino acids to reach the appropriate balance. Soybean meal has high protein and low fiber content, which better supports digestibility.

soybean meal comparison chart


Long before current food trends became fashionable, soy was the plant-based standard. It’s a complete protein with a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) of .99, with 1 being a perfect score. Decades of research have also shown that soy is very functional, versatile and efficient. That’s why it is used in everything from traditional soy foods like tofu and tempeh to plant-based alternatives like soy milk and the Impossible Burger.

feeding people

feeding people








In addition to its nutritional value, soy protein offers a sustainable, renewable option for adhesives, coatings and binding agents. It replaces less sustainable ingredients in many products.

DUST is a soy protein-based lubricant that replaces graphite and talc to promote seed flow in planters.

Soy flour adhesives replace formaldehyde and phenol-based resins that are targeted for removal from wood materials. They require less drying time, use less water and produce less waste than conventional plywood glues.