Innovation

Uses for Soybeans

Soybeans are used in a wide variety of foods for humans and animals, as well as for industrial and consumer products such as building materials, lubricants and other household items. Learn about those soy-based options in the Soy Products Guide.

Uses for Meal

Animal Feed

Poultry and livestock feed make up 97 percent of soybean meal used in the U.S.

Food

The other 3 percent of soybean meal used in the U.S. is in food products like protein alternatives and soymilk. People who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy may consume soy food products for this reason. Soy protein is also a way for vegetarian and vegan consumers to get their recommended daily protein. Soy also appears in products like:

  • Soy sauce
  • Soy-fortified pastas
  • Breakfast cereals and bars
  • Some beverages and whipped toppings

Uses for Oil

Food

Oil used for food accounts for 68 percent of soybean oil used in the U.S. This oil can be used:

  • For frying or baking foods
  • As a vegetable oil
  • As an ingredient in foods like salad dressings and margarines

Industrial Uses

Soybean oil used for industrial purposes accounts for 7 percent of soybean oil used in the U.S. This oil is converted into products like paints, plastics and cleaners.

Biodiesel

Biodiesel makes up 25 percent of soybean oil used in the U.S. Biodiesel is a renewable substitute for petroleum diesel made from soybean oil. The fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases energy efficiency and provides a 15 percent price support for soybeans.

Chris Krull
Chris Krull

Ag Communicator

St. Louis, MIssouri