The soybean (Glycine max), or soya bean, is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses.
Fat-free (defatted) soybean meal is a significant and cheap source of protein for animal feeds and many packaged meals. For example, soybean products, such as textured vegetable protein (TVP), are ingredients in many meat and dairy substitutes. The beans contain significant amounts of phytic acid, dietary minerals and B vitamins. Soy vegetable oil, used in food and industrial applications, is another product of processing the soybean crop. Traditional non-fermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk from which tofu and tofu skin are made. Fermented soy foods include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, natto and tempeh.
The main countries growing soybeans are the United States (32% of world total, 2016 forecast), Brazil (31%) and Argentina (18%).