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Soybean seeds


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Common names 

Soybean, soya bean, soya, soy, soja bean, miracle bean, Manchurian bean, full-fat soybean [English]; soja, soya [Spanish]; soja, soja graine entière, pois chinois, haricot oléagineux [French]; soja, feijão-soja, feijão-chinês [Portuguese]; frijol de soya, haba soya [Spanish]; sojaboon [Dutch]; Sojabohne [German]; kacang kedelai [Indonesian]; kedele [Javanese]; kacang soya [Malay]; balatong [Tagalog]; Đậu tương [Vietnamese]; فول الصويا [Arabic]; সয়াবিন [Bengali]; 大豆 [Chinese/Japanese]; Σόγια [Greek]; סויה [Hebrew]; सोयाबीन [Hindi]; ಸೋಯಾ ಅವರೆ [Kannada]; 대두 [Korean]; സോയാബീൻസ് [Malayalam]; सोयबीन [Marathi]; भटमास [Nepali]; سویا [Persian]; Со́я культу́рная [Russian]; சோயா அவரை [Tamil]; సోయా చిక్కుడు [Telugu]; ถั่วเหลือง [Thai]; سویا پھلی [Urdu]


Dolichos soja L., Glycine gracilis Skvortsov, Glycine hispida (Moench) Maxim., Glycine hispida var. brunnea Skvortsov, Glycine hispida var. lutea Skvortsov, Glycine soja (L.) Merr., Phaseolus max L., Soja hispida Moench, Soja max (L.) Piper


Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) is the largest oilseed crop, with 276 million t produced in 2013, the main producers being the United States, Brazil, Argentina and China (FAO, 2015). The value of the crop is partly driven by the demand for soybean meal, which is the by-product of oil extraction, one of the major feed commodities (172 million t used worldwide in 2011) and the main protein source in many animal diets (FAO, 2015). Whole soybean seeds, usually called soybeans or full-fat soybeans to differentiate them from soybean meal, are also used for animal feeding.


Soybean pods generally contain one to three seeds each. There are large variations in seed shape, size and colour. Shape varies from almost spherical to flat and elongated. Seed size ranges from 5-11 mm and seed weight ranges from 120-180 mg/seed. Soybean hulls may be yellow, green, brown or black and it may be all one colour or a pattern of two colours. Cotyledons are yellow or green, and the hilum may be black, brown, buff or light yellow (Ecoport, 2009).


Whole soybeans are used as food in tropical Africa and Asia. Western countries are a new market for soya food (exotic foods, soybean milk, tofu…). Soybeans are used to make flour, milk, tofu and tofu-like products. They may be roasted and eaten as a snack, or fermented to make tempeh, miso, yuba and soy sauce. Soybeans are also used for animal feeding due to their high oil (20%) and protein content (40%). They are the richest in protein of all the common seeds used for animal feeding. In 2011, 13 million t of whole soybeans were reported to be used as feeds (FAO, 2015). Raw soybean are usually processed in order to improve their nutritional value, either by removing antinutritional factors or by making the protein less degradable for ruminants. Treatments include many types and combinations of heat (dry or moist) and pressure, such as toasting and extrusion. Full-fat soybeans sold for specialty uses are often marketed under a brand name.


Soybean is native to Asia. It was domesticated in North China 3000 years ago, and is now produced in almost all continents between 53°N to 53°S, and from sea level up to 2000 m. The main producing countries are the USA, Brazil, Argentina, China and India. Optimal growth conditions are average day-temperatures around 30°C, 850 mm annual rainfall and not less than 500 mm water during the growing season, and soil pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.5 with good drainage. Soya is sensitive to soil acidity and aluminium toxicity. It can withstand short periods of waterlogging and short droughts (Ecoport, 2009).



Soybean seeds mature within 3-4 months after planting and require timely harvesting to check excessive yield losses. Harvest can begin when about 85% of the pods have turned brown for a non-shattering variety but 80% for shattering varieties (Dugje et al., 2009). Harvesting methods differ from one place to another. In industrialized countries, soybeans are harvested with a combiner while they can be harvested with cutlass, hoe, or sickles in developing countries (Omafra, 2009; Dugje et al., 2009). The plant should be cut at ground level and should not be uprooted in order to leave N-fixing nodules in the soil (Dugje et al., 2009).


Mature soybeans should have no more than 20% moisture at harvest. At harvest the seeds often contain too much moisture for satisfactory storage and must therefore be dried to a moisture content of less than 14-15% (Omafra, 2009; Newkirk, 2010). If the seed moisture drops to 12% the bean may be damaged and split (Omafra, 2009). Soybeans are generally dried at temperatures ranging from 55°C to 60°C and the drying air moisture shoult be above 40% in order to prevent coat cracking (Omafra, 2009).


Soybeans should preferably be cracked or ground (grinding is easier if the beans are mixed with grain) when they are intended to enter animal diet. Ground soybeans cannot be stored long in a hot climate.

Heat and pressure treatments

Soybeans are generally processed before being fed to animals, either to remove antinutritional factors (trypsin inhibitors, lectins, allergenic proteins: see Potential constraints) when soybeans are included in monogastric diets, particularly those of young pigs and poultry, or to increase the proportion rumen-undegradable protein when soybeans are intended for ruminants (Newkirk, 2010).  

Heat and pressure treatments include toasting, micronisation, flaking, jet-sploding, extrusion, expansion, pelletizing, fluidized bed, spouted bed, infrared dryer, microwave and their combinations. The effects of these treatments on antinutritional factors, urease activity, protein solubility and lysine content have be reviewed in the litterature (Latshaw et al., 1976; Wiriyaumpaiwong et al., 2004).

  • Micronisation, roasting and jet-sploding and dry-extrusion are dry heating methods in which soybeans undergo different ranges of temperatures and pressures (between 120-140°C under infra-red for micronisation, 160-180 °C for toasting, and 300°C for jet-sploding and 140° under 30-80 bars pressure for extrusion) (Evrard et al., 2003). Soybeans that are heated in rotating drum may be of poor quality since some beans are burned and others not heated enough (Newkirk, 2010).
  • Dry extrusion was reported to be the most effective for the provision of energy: shearing of cell walls increases the availability of nutrients (and notably fats). Though high temperatures are necessary to destroy trypsin inhibitors, temperatures above 140°C may hinder protein and amino acid digestibility. 
  • Toasting, flaking, fluidized bed, expansion, wet extrusion and pelletizing are moist heating methods where steam is used to provide moisture and heat (Newkirk, 2010; Evrard et al., 2003). In expansion, pressure is also provided (Evrard et al., 2003). Moist heating methods are considered to be safer for soybean quality (Newkirk, 2010).

The nutritive value of commercial full-fat soybeans should be indicated as well as the process they have undergone so that they can be properly included in the diet (Evrard et al., 2003).

Environmental impact 

Soybean is an N-fixing legume. It can be used as green manure or as a rotation crop in combination with cotton, maize and sorghum. During the first 6-8 weeks after seedling, soya has to be weeded. After that period, its rapid growth can reduce weeds. In Africa, it is reported to reduce the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica which is very noxious to crops (Giller et al., 2007).

The intensive monoculture of soybean in Brazil and Argentina has a negative effect on habitats and biodiversity. Soil erosion increases with mechanical weeding and intensive cultivation results in a severe mining of soil fertility. Soybean cultivation is also responsible for massive deforestation in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay (Steinfeld et al., 2006).

The debate about the environmental impact of GM crops is complex and a full discussion of the issue is beyond the scope of this datasheet. Concerning soybeans, the actual reduction in herbicide use due to the introduction of glyphosate-resistant soybeans is disputed. The decrease of 10% found by certain authors can be considered too modest (or linked to factors other than GM soybean) or significant enough due to the large cultivation areas concerned by soybeans. Other authors consider that herbicide-tolerant soybeans can have indirect environmental benefits by encouraging farmers to use no-tillage or conservation tillage practices that reduce soil erosion and fuel use (Edwards et al., 2009). Spontaneous, pollen-mediated gene flow has been observed but is considered too limited to be an issue. However, gene flow by seed is highly probable. Transgen introgression into wild soybeans in China and Korea, while possible, is also considered too limited to be of real concern (Owen, 2009).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Whole soybeans are extremely valuable feed ingredients. They are a source of proteins (35-45% DM), oil (16-25% DM) and energy (gross energy  23-24 MJ/kg DM). They contain low amounts of fibre (NDF 13% DM, ADF 8% and less than 1.5% lignin). Also notable is the lysine content of soybean protein (5.7-6.7 % of the protein). Soybean oil contains more than 60% of polyinsaturated fatty acids, mostly linoleic acid C18:2 (50-57%). There is a large variability in soybean composition due to varietal, geographic and environmental factors (Hammond et al., 2005).

Potential constraints 

Trypsin inhibitors

Soybean contain trypsin inhibitors, which block the activity of the digestive enzyme trypsin. Average anti-trypsic activity of whole soybeans was 39 TIU/mg in France in 2003. It is however very variable depending on the origin of soybeans (from 3.4 to 71 TIU/mg) (Evrard et al., 2003). Heating destroys trypsin inhibitors and soybeans fed to pigs or poultry usually undergo a process involving heating (see Processes). In heated soybeans, trypsin hinhibitors activity is reduced to around 4mg/g (Clarke et al., 2007), on the opposite, in raw soybeans, trypsin inhibitors activity range from 20 to 35mg/g. Some other criteria are used to characterize soybean seeds quality, such as urease activity (fall of pH) and protein solubility in KOH 0.2% solution. Recommended value for urease activity is below 0.3pH unit and a protein solubility from 70 to 85%. In over-cooked soybean seeds solubility is low and amino acid digestibility is reduced, on the opposite under-cooked seeds solubility is high but protease inhibitors are not destroyed. Relationships between protease inhibitors content and amino acids digestibility have been described (Clarke et al., 2007). Up to 30% heated soybeans can be included in poultry diets with no depressing effect (Newkirk, 2010). 


Soybeans contain variable amounts of lectins. Mature seeds of Chinese varieties were reported to contain between 2.81 and 6.52 mg/g lectins (Chunmei Gu et al., 2010). The lectin content arises as the seed matures. Lectins are undetectable during the first 26 days after floweering but reach a maximal level by day 28 (Cornell University, 2012). Lectins bind to intestinal mucosa and prevent amino acids, Vit B12 and polysaccharides absorption (Evrard et al., 2003) and are thought to be responsible for about 25% of the negative effects of feeding raw soybeans to poultry and pigs (Newkirk, 2010). Lectins can be destroyed by heat treatments.


Raw soybeans contain urease, an enzyme that releases ammonia from urea, and therefore should not be fed to ruminants in a diet already containing urea, as rumen microflora cannot handle the amount of NH3 produced (Newkirk, 2010; Fuller, 2004; Evrard et al., 2003). Recommended value for urease activity is below 0.3 pH unit (Clarke et al., 2007).


Soybean seeds contain variable amounts (4-6%) of oligosaccharides (mainly raffinose and stachyose) that are not digested in the small intestine of monogastrics but are fermented by bacteria (Hayakawa et al., 1990). In pigs, levels as low as 2% oligosaccharides in the diet is deleterious to energy digestibility and results in reduced growth (Grieshop et al., 2003). Oligosaccharides also reduce fecal consistency in weanling pigs (Liying et al., 2003).

Others antinutritional factors

Soybean seeds contain phyto-oestrogens, which reduce the reproductive efficiency of certain animals, as well as goitrogens (iodine antagonists) (Fuller, 2004).


Soybeans contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low levels of saturated fatty acids. They may quickly become rancid and diets based on whole soybeans should be treated with an antioxidant before storing or used immediately (Blair, 2007; Morel et al., 2006).

Protein solubility

Recommended value for protein solubility (estimated for instance with a KOH 0.2% solution) from 70 to 85%. In over-cooked soybean seeds solubility is low and amino acid digestibility is reduced. On the opposite under-cooked seeds solubility is high but protease inhibitors are not destroyed (Clarke et al., 2007).


Soybeans are a good source of protein and energy for ruminants. 

Nutritional value

Soybeans have high a ME content (16 MJ/kg DM; INRA, 2007). Soybean seeds have a high in vitro digestibility (Itavo et al., 2015; Rao et al., 2009) and in vivo digestibility (on average 88%; INRA, 2007). The protein of raw soybeans is rapidly degraded in the rumen so that the metabolisable protein content does not exceed 90 g/kg DM (Poncet et al., 2003). The degradation rate can be slowered by heat treatments such as flaking or toasting, by extrusion or by formaldehye treatment (N effective degradability:  69%, 63%, 47%, 40%, respectively; INRA, 2007), or other processes (see below). The metabolisable protein content can reach 170 g/kg DM for toasted and flaked seeds, 250 g/kg DM for extruded or formaldehyde-treated seeds (INRA, 2007). These processes indirectly protect the lipid fraction from ruminal degradation, allowing a higher proportion of the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) to be delivered postruminally.

Inclusion rates

Whole soybeans can be included at 18% of DM intake in dairy cows (Dhiman et al., 1997). Higher levels can be used (Gralak et al., 1997). When soybeans are fed in large quantities, the diet must also contain adequate amounts of vitamin A (Newkirk, 2010).

For cattle, soybeans can an excellent feed even without processing or heat conditioning  (Newkirk, 2010). Raw soybeans can be fed to beef cows during mid to late gestation. Although they result in reduced weight gain compared to soybean meal/hulls supplementation, raw soybeans do not affect reproduction, calf weaning weight, forage intake and digestion (Banta et al., 2008). Comparable results are obtained with steers between raw soybeans (16.5%) and sweet lupin seeds (20%) in complete pelleted diets (Vicenti et al., 2009). In feedlot lambs, the inclusion of raw soybeans up to 21% DM of isonitrogenous, high concentrate diets, although decreasing DM intake, did not affect feed conversion, carcass yield and lamb cuts, providing satisfactory lamb performance (Urano et al., 2006).

Mechanical treatments

Reducing particle size is not efficient to improve the nutritive value of soybeans, because it enhances its protein degradability (Poncet et al., 2003). In lactating cows, grinding soybean seeds reduces the DM intake, but not apparent digestibility. It decreases milk production, but does not affect fat and protein content, nor body weight changes (Pereira et al., 1998a; Pereira et al., 1998b).

Heat and pressure treatments

Roasting (dry heating) is the most commonly used treatment. It reduces N degradability and increases the intestinal digestibility of rumen undegraded protein (RUP) (Poncet et al., 2003; Nasri et al., 2008). Optimal heating conditions for soybean seeds are 145°C during 30 min (Faldet et al., 1991): roasting at this temperature increases the proportion of N escaping ruminal digestion from 25 to 50% (Tice et al., 1993). In dairy cows, roasting soybean seeds does not affect DM intake, digestibility of OM, lipids and NDF, milk production, milk fat, protein and lactose, but tends to reduce DM and CP digestibility and to increase the milk fat concentration of c9 and t11-CLA (Abdi et al., 2013). Roasted soybeans in half and quarter sizes (mean particle size of 2.9 mm) are optimal to reduce fecal losses, and lower mean particle sizes inhibit the positive effect of roasting (Dhiman et al., 1997).

Moist heating is more efficient than dry heating, so than comparable results can be obtained with lower temperatures and duration (Poncet et al., 2003). At similar temperature and duration (120°C, 1h), compared with dry heating, moist heating greatly decreases soluble crude protein and non protein N. It also increases neutral detergent insoluble protein, inducing decreased ruminal degradability of protein and increased intestinal digestibility of RUP (Samadi et al., 2011).

Extrusion decreases protein degradability and increases the in vitro digestibility of the RUP, resulting in an increase of metabolisable protein content of + 90 g/kg DM. The extrusion of soybean seeds together with maize enhances these effects (Solanas et al., 2008). Extrusion of soybean seeds improves feed efficiency in lambs fed a high forage diet. Whereas it does not affect DM intake, it improves average daily gain and concentration of PUFA concentration in muscle, by reducing both N ruminal degradability and fatty acid biohydrogenation (Petit et al., 1997). Adding extruded soybean seeds as a fat source in dairy cows does not affect DM intake. Extrusion improves milk production (+2.8 kg) with a efficiency similar to that of calcium soaps of fatty acids (Kim et al., 1991; Kim et al., 1993). Extrusion tends to decrease milk protein and casein content, even with additional protein (Kim et al., 1991), and reduces milk fat content and increases PUFA concentration in milk fat (Kim et al., 1993). For most PUFA, extrusion provides results similar as thise obtained with roasting, but is more efficient for increasing trans-11 C18:1 production in vitro (Troegeler-Meynadier et al., 2014).

Irradiation (electron beam or gamma) applied to eliminate antinutritional factors such as phytic acid and trypsin inhibitor activity (Taghinejad et al., 2009) decreases protein degradability and increases the digestibility of RUP (-26.5% and +28% , respectively, Ebrahimi-Mahmoudabad et al., 2011). Irradiation improved N retention in goat kids (from 37 to 43%) by reducing urinary N without affecting fecal N excretion, whereas intake and digestibility coefficients for various nutrients were not affected significantly (Mani et al., 2003).

Chemical treatments

Rumen protection by commercial tannic acid reduced the effective degradability of DM and N following a dose-dependent effect up to 50 g/kg DM of tannin-treated seeds (Martinez et al., 2004).

Nonenzymatic browning (Maillard reaction) can also be used to reduce protein ruminal degradation. It also indirectly protects the lipid fraction from ruminal degradation, allowing a higher proportion of the polyunsaturated to be delivered postruminally. In dairy cows, this provides beneficial increase in milk C18:2 and C18:3, and fat-corrected milk yields similar to those obtained with oil protected with Ca salts (Abel-Caines et al., 1998).

Glucose or xylose treatment: heating soybeans for 2h at 100°C with glucose or xylose (2-3 % DM) reduced the effective degradability of DM and N (-18% with 3% glucose, -28% with 3% xylose) (Sacakli et al., 2009; Sacakli et al., 2011).


Soybeans are a major ingredient of pig diets. When properly processed to remove antinutritional factors (trypsin inhibitors, lectins, oligosaccharides), whole soybeans can be fed to pigs without safety limits (Newkirk, 2010; Blair, 2007). In farms where both soybeans and pigs are grown, using full-fat soybeans at farm level is a valuable option; it provides both protein and higher energy than soybean meal (15% higher than dehulled soybean meal and 27% higher than non dehulled soybean meal). Soybeans can be used as a protein source in all pig feeds except stage-one starter rations (Newkirk, 2010). Including full-fat soybeans supplies fats to the diet and reduces aerial dust levels; this is likely to benefit the health of animals and workers in buildings (Blair, 2007; Morel et al., 2006). Processed soybeans have high DM digestibility (82%) and energy digestibility (78-83%) (Qiao ShiYan et al., 2004; Sauvant et al., 2004) and a higher standardized ileal amino acid digestibility (SID) compared to raw soybeans.

Aminoacid SID (%)
(Eklund et al., 2012)
Toasted soybean SID (%)
(Sauvant et al., 2004)
Extruded soybean SID (%)
(Sauvant et al., 2004)
Arg 88 83 91
His 81 81 88
Ile 82 74 88
Leu 80 76 85
Lys 82 79 87
Phe 82 77 86
Thr 72 75 84
Val 78 82 84

Processed soybeans

Pigs appear to grow as well on pelleted diets containing extruded, toasted, toasted and flaked, or roasted soybeans (Blair, 2007; Evrard et al., 2003). Improved performance from roasting or extruding was attributed to an increase in fat digestibility (the oil vesicles being ruptured to allow the oil to be more available for digestion) and to an increased nutrient density in the diet (Blair, 2007). It has been shown that orocessed soybeans have a slightly lower DM digestibility and energy digestibility than soybean meal in growing pigs and that extruded soybeans have a higher nutritive value than roasted soybeans (Kim et al., 2000). A French experiment aiming at comparing different heat treatments of soybeans included at 15% in the diet did not fund differences in feed intake or in animal performance between treatments (Evrard et al., 2003).

Whole soybeans may have adverse effects on the carcass fat of growing pigs (Blair, 2007), particularly a lack of firmness probably due to meat fat containing more linoleic acid (Bayley et al., 1975). However, in spite of lower oleic acid content and higher linoleic and linolenic acid in the fat, the meat of growing pigs fed soybeans replacing 50% or 100% soybean meal had no organoleptic differences compared to the mead of pigs fed on soybean meal (Lee et al., 1996). 


A study found that 16-day piglets did not benefit from diets containing high levels of extruded soybeans, and that extruded soybeans resulted in slightly lower weight gains even at 21 days. However, extruded soybeans could replace 50% of soybean meal (Piao et al., 2000). Weaned 28-day piglets could be fed steamed toasted soybeans at 34% dietary level (fully replacing soybean meal) with no deleterious effect on growth performance and intestinal development, but dry extruded soybeans at the same dietary level impaired growth and resulted in poor economic returns (Piao et al., 2000; Barbosa et al., 1999). Moist extruded soybeans (18.5% dietary DM basis) fed to 28-days weaned piglets had positive effects on intestinal tissues and morphology in comparison to soybean meal (Qiao ShiYan et al., 2003). Earlier studies found that extruded soybeans included at 15% dietary level gave better results than rapeseeds or sunflower seeds, and were reported to have the same nutritive value and protein quality as soybean meal for piglets (Albar et al., 1998; Kiener et al., 1989). Replacing 43% of soybean meal and 100% of soybean oil with soybeans extruded at 140°C had positive effects on energy, N, fat and aminoacids (except valine and leucine) digestibilities (Qiao ShiYan et al., 1999).

Growing pigs

Extruded soybeans fed to growing pigs had positive effect on ileal digestibilities of DM, energy, N and most amino acids. It was shown that digestibility and availability of indispensable aminoacids were greater with extruded soybeans than with soybean meal or roasted soybeans (Kim et al., 2000). Extrusion improved ileal digestibility of fats and linoleic acid in growing pigs (Qiao ShiYan et al., 1999). In Nigeria, extruded soybeans could fully replace groundnut meal in growing pigs diets and increased feed conversion efficiency without significatively changing carcass traits (Fashina-Bombata et al., 1994). Cooking soybeans at 100°C during 30 min resulted in the same digestibilities of DM, EE and N-free extract as soybean meal. The longer the time of cooking, the better the efficiency of DM and ME (Kaankuka et al., 2000). Soybeans boiled during 90 min resulted in higher growth rates, and feed:gain ratio was improved (Fanimo, 1998). Soybeans that had undergone maceration, micronization vacuum processing or steam processing resulted in lower energy digestibility and growth performance than those obtained with soybean meal, but macerated soybeans had positive effects during the first period after weanling (up to 42 day-old) (Carvalho et al., 2007; Trindade Neto et al., 2002).

Finishing pigs

Because soybean oil contains low levels of saturated fat and high levels of polyunsaturated fat, the use of soybeans may result in deposition of soft fat which is undesirable for consumers. The level of soybeans in finisher rations will thus depend on consumer acceptance but also on overall diet composition. Finishing pig rations should thus be balanced in order to meet desired carcass grades. A diet based on maize + soybeans with a high level of polyunsaturated fatty acids provided by both ingredients will result in soft fat if soybeans exceed 10%. If the diet is based on wheat/barley + soybeans, the inclusion of soybeans may be as high as 25%. It is advisable to monitor fat deposition when soybeans are fed to finishing pigs. The starting inclusion level could be about 15% and could raise according to fat deposition (Newkirk, 2010). Properly cooked soybeans can be used to replace soybean meal in grower-finisher and breeder diets (Danielson et al., 1991; Seerley, 1991). In a diet based on wheat and barley and where soybeans were included at 10, 20 or 30% as a source of protein, animal performances were excellent and valuable changes in fat quality (healthier fatty acids profile for meat consumers) were observed (Van Lunen et al., 2003). However this changes also made the meat more prone to oxidation (Morel et al., 2006; Leszczynski et al., 1992). The addition of anti-oxidants (Vit E) to the feed was advised (Morel et al., 2006). The use of full-fat soybean meal rather than animal fat, sunflower seeds or sunflower seed meal increased linoleic acid content of the diet by 2.1%. It resulted in the higher daily weight gain (DWG = 690 g) and better feed efficiency. It also increased lean meat, decreased backfat and linoleic acid content of the fat (+131%) (Gundel et al., 2000).


Cooked soybeans are particularly useful in lactation diets when intake is low because they result in maximum quantity of the highest fat content milk  and in higher pre-weaning survival rates (Newkirk, 2010). Soybeans provide supplementary lipids which improve reproductive performances of sows (Blair, 2007).

Raw soybeans

In Nigeria, it has been shown that raw soybeans could be safely fed to growing pigs and improved feed efficiency. However, they resulted in lower feed gains and negatively affected backfat deposition and percent lean cut compared to extruded soybeans (Fashina-Bombata et al., 1995). It was possible to feed finishing organic pigs with raw full-fat soybeans low in antinutritional factors (Tagliapietra et al., 2007). Raw full-fat soybean diet did not hamper animal performance and carcass quality. However a diet based on raw soybeans reduced N digestibility in comparison to a diet based on toasted soybeans (Tagliapietra et al., 2007) .


In poultry diets, soybean meal is often supplemented with soybean oil in order to increase metabolisable energy. It may thus be advantageous to use whole soybeans since they have high protein and energy contents. Whole soybeans must be heat-treated to destroy trypsin inhibitors, as they cause pancreas hypertrophy (Liener et al., 1980; Perilla et al., 1997) and modifications of the intestinal structure (Rocha et al., 2014; Zhaleh et al., 2015), resulting in poor performance. Relationships between protease inhibitors content and amino acids digestibility have been described (Clarke et al., 2007). Soybeans are known for containing non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) which impair digestibility by increasing gut viscosity (Aftab, 2012; Shastak et al., 2015). As for wheat or barley diets, many attempts have been done to alleviate this effect for diets containing soybean meal containing diets but the literature is scarce concerning the effect of NSP of whole soybeans in poultry diets.

Metabolizable energy value of soybean seeds depends greatly on its oil content and the digestibility of this oil. When soybean seeds are processed some losses of oil can be observed due to processing conditions (temperature, pressure, etc.), but, on the opposite fat digestibility, is improved by rupture of oil cells and consequently there is a better accessibility to pancreatic lipase. Precautions must be taken not to degrade the quality of the carcass of the chicken when using large amounts of soybeans, since they contain large amounts of linoleic acid and fatty acid composition of the broilers reflect that of the dietary fat.

Whole soybeans, when properly treated, are very suitable for poultry feeding, since they contain large amounts of well digested proteins and unsaturated fatty acids. Moreover its ME value is high. Extruded soybean seeds are a powdery material which permit to introduce fat in complete diets more easily than more expensive processes. Soybeans can be used up to high levels in poultry diets (15-20%) without any reduction in performance. Attention must be given to the composition of poultry products since their fatty acid composition reflect that of dietary fat.


Raw vs processed soybeans

In a cafeteria test comparing 6 species of raw or toasted legume seeds, rabbits preferred raw seeds, and raw soybeans came second with raw peas (28 and 27% of the total intake respectively), after raw field beans (Vicia faba) (33% of the intake). Toasted soybeans were not much appreciated (5% of the total intake) (Johnston et al., 1989). The good palatability of raw soybeans has been confirmed by a comparison of the effects on performance of various levels of raw soybeans in complete diets (Sese et al., 1996). Like in other monogastric animals, trypsin inhibitors and urease activity reduce nitrogen digestibility in rabbits, even though growing rabbits appeared to be less sensitive than chickens and rats to under-processing of soybeans (Xian et al., 1991). Heating soybeans by extrusion or microwaves improved significantly nitrogen digestibility (by 8-9 points) in growing rabbits (Xian et al., 1991; Zhang et al., 2009). For growing rabbits raised in temperate conditions, average daily growth was 27.6 g/d with 20% raw soybeans (70 TIU/mg) in the diet, but reached up 40.1 g/d with extruded soybeans (25.4 TIU/mg) (Sanchez et al., 1984). In Subsaharan Africa, toasting soybeans by artisanal methods, such as practiced by farmers who produce gari from cassava roots, was able to reduce efficiently the inhibitor activity of local soybean seeds. In Benin, for example, trypsin inhibitor activity was only 5.8 TUI/mg for farm-toasted soybeans (Lebas et al., 2012). In tropical conditions, where growth rate is far lower than in temperate countries, growth performance of rabbits fed 20% of either toasted soybean meal or raw soybeans was similar, but raw soybeans impaired growth at higher inclusion rates (Sese et al., 1996). In any case, applying heat treatment like toasting, roasting or extrusion is highly recommended before including soybeans in rabbit diets.

Heat-processed soybeans

The proteins of extruded soybean seeds and those of toasted soybean meal have a similar digestibility in the rabbit: 84-85% (Villamide et al., 2010). Digestibility of soybean oil and of the lipids of extruded soybeans are also close: about 90-95% (Maertens et al., 1986; Fernandez et al., 1994). Extruded or toasted soybeans are thus introduced in rabbit diets or two main reasons: 1) to increase the dietary lipid content by 2-3 points without liquid manipulation during manufacturing (Cavani et al., 1996; Debray et al., 2003), and 2) as the main source of proteins when soybean meal is not available or too expensive (Ahamefule et al., 2006; Nguyen Quang Suc et al., 1995). In the latter case, often found in developing countries, the inclusion rate is frequently 20-25% (Hon et al., 2009; Ozung et al., 2011; Abu et al., 2013). In some experimental conditions, toasted soybeans were introduced up to 41% dietary level without negative effects on growth performance (Omage et al., 2007). Diets with toasted soybeans are well accepted by rabbits (Carabaño et al., 2000) and for some researchers the question is not to study the utilisation of soybeans in rabbit diets, for example in substitution for soybean meal, but rather to test alternative ingredients as replacements for soybeans: cashew nuts (Daramola, 2002), Perilla frutescens seeds (Peiretti et al., 2010) or Parkia clappertoniana seeds (Akpet et al., 2012). 

The effect of soybeans on pellet quality depends more on the desired dietary lipid content than on soybeans themselves. Up to 5-6% of total lipids in the diet, pellet quality remains acceptable with 5-6% of fines after a durability test (Maertens,1998), but having more than 6-7% of total lipids in the diet (i.e. more than 20% soybean seeds in the diet) reduces pellet acceptability. Indeed, the highest levels (25 to 41%) of soybean seeds were studied in non-pelleted diets (Sese et al., 1996; Omage et al., 2007).


There have been numerous trials on feeding heat-processed full-fat soybeans to fish. As fish species are sensitive to trypsic inhibitors, it is necessary to process soybeans by heat treatments. Many articles focus on finding the optimal conditions for processing.


In a comparison of several soybean treatments in rainbow trouts (Oncorhynchus mykiss), steam-cooked soybeans resulted in twice the growth obtained with soybean meal, whereas dry extrusion resulted in a slightly lower growth than steam cooking (Smith, 1977). Soybean processed by dry heat at temperatures ranging from 127°C to 232° had increasing protein digestibility and ME values (up to 75% and 17.1 MJ/kg at 175°C / 5 minutes). Autoclaving at 0.70 kg/cm² for 10 minutes gave similar results as the latter combination of dry heat (Sandholm et al., 1976). Chinool salmons (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) fed extruded soybeans had the best growth at 18% dietary level and higher inclusion rates resulted in poorer growth (Wilson, 1992). Dry extrusion processing increased the apparent digestibilities of crude protein and sulfur, but decreased those of magnesium and total phosphorus. The optimum dosage of phytase supplementation in extruded soybeans was approximately 400 FTU/kg diet for rainbow trout (Cheng et al., 2003).


In common carp (Cyprinus carpio), diets containing 35% extruded soybeans resulted in similar body weight gains as feeds containing soybean meal with its oil content reconstituted to the level of undefatted meal (Viola et al., 1983). When full-fat soybeans treated thermally or hydrothermally gently or intensely were tested at 50% dietary level and compared with a protein equivalent fishmeal diet, the best peformance for body weight gain and body protein retentionwere obtained with the gently and intensely hydrothermally or the intensely thermally treated soybeans. However, only 60-65% of the potential of the fishmeal control diet was attained and a relatively higher body fat deposition could be observed (Abel et al., 1984).


In Nile tilapia (Ochreochromis niloticus) fed boiled full-fat soybeans and unboiled soybeans, an increase in the level of unboiled soybean resulted in an increase in trypsin inhibitor activity which reduced fish growth. Nile tilapia grew well at low levels of trypsin inhibitors. The best growth and feed efficiency were obtained with a diet containing boiled soybean meal (58% dietary level) as the sole source of plant protein, although there was a significant increase in the lipid content of the fish (Wee et al., 1989).


In juvenile Penaeus vannamei shrimps, diets containing various amounts of dry extruded full-fat soybeans (up to 36% dietary level) as a partial replacement for soybean meal gave all similar performances (weight gain, survival, DM intake, feed conversion, protein efficiency ratio; whole body moisture, fat, crude protein, and ash). The nutritional value of dry extruded soybeans was comparable to that of soybean meal made isocaloric with soybean oil (Lim et al., 1992).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Include raw and processed whole soybeans

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 88.7 1.8 83.1 94.5 7315  
Crude protein % DM 39.6 1.4 35.3 43.8 7125  
Crude fibre % DM 6.2 1.3 3.1 10.0 3753  
NDF % DM 13.2 3.0 7.8 18.7 90 *
ADF % DM 7.7 1.7 4.7 11.5 84 *
Lignin % DM 1.2 0.6 0.1 2.4 86 *
Ether extract % DM 21.4 1.7 16.6 25.9 3466  
Ash % DM 5.7 0.4 4.4 7.2 3372  
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 6.4 1.9 2.4 10.2 125  
Total sugars % DM 8.7 0.8 7.0 10.3 112  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 23.6 0.4 22.5 24.1 51 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 3.2 0.8 1.2 5.3 617  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 6.1 0.6 4.7 7.5 600  
Potassium g/kg DM 18.0 1.8 14.4 21.1 54  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 109  
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.4 0.1 2.1 2.7 30  
Manganese mg/kg DM 29 9 14 57 19  
Zinc mg/kg DM 43 13 12 65 19  
Copper mg/kg DM 19 11 10 47 18  
Iron mg/kg DM 121 30 67 209 16  
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine % protein 4.3 0.2 3.8 4.6 45  
Arginine % protein 7.2 0.3 6.6 7.9 51  
Aspartic acid % protein 11.1 0.4 10.1 11.9 50  
Cystine % protein 1.5 0.2 1.3 1.9 71  
Glutamic acid % protein 17.8 0.5 16.9 18.7 39  
Glycine % protein 4.2 0.1 4.0 4.5 45  
Histidine % protein 2.6 0.2 2.3 3.1 48  
Isoleucine % protein 4.5 0.2 4.2 4.8 48  
Leucine % protein 7.5 0.2 7.1 7.9 45  
Lysine % protein 6.2 0.2 5.7 6.7 102  
Methionine % protein 1.4 0.1 1.2 1.7 82  
Phenylalanine % protein 5.0 0.1 4.7 5.3 48  
Proline % protein 5.0 0.3 4.5 5.6 41  
Serine % protein 5.0 0.2 4.5 5.4 46  
Threonine % protein 3.9 0.2 3.6 4.4 62  
Tryptophan % protein 1.3 0.0 1.2 1.4 20  
Tyrosine % protein 3.6 0.1 3.3 3.8 27  
Valine % protein 4.7 0.2 4.4 5.2 49  
Fatty acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Palmitic acid C16:0 % fatty acids 11.3 1.1 10.0 15.0 28  
Stearic acid C18:0 % fatty acids 3.6 0.3 2.8 4.3 28  
Oleic acid C18:1 % fatty acids 22.9 1.6 19.9 26.9 29  
Linoleic acid C18:2 % fatty acids 53.6 1.7 48.9 57.0 32  
Linolenic acid C18:3 % fatty acids 7.8 1.0 6.3 10.1 27  
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 8.5 7.6 2.2 17.0 3  
Tannins, condensed (eq. catechin) g/kg DM 0.4   0.0 0.8 2  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 81.4 6.4 76.3 92.0 5 *
OM digestibility, ruminants (gas production) % 72       1  
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 83.7 7.7 73.1 91.0 4 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 19.8         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 15.3         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 92.5   85.0 100.0 2  
a (N) % 28.7 17.1 8.7 55.6 6  
b (N) % 61.7 21.8 22.9 87.4 6  
c (N) h-1 0.086 0.045 0.050 0.162 6  
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 71 17 42 87 5 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 65 18 36 92 14 *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 85.9 8.5 71.5 92.3 8 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 20.3 2.1 17.2 22.1 9 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 19.3         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.0         *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 86.5 6.3 77.0 94.8 9  
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 16.0 0.7 14.8 17.6 13  
AMEn broiler MJ/kg DM 17.1 2.6 15.1 22.1 6  
Rabbit nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, rabbit % 83.9   79.6 90.1 2 *
DE rabbit MJ/kg DM 19.8   18.6 21.1 2  
Nitrogen digestibility, rabbit % 88.0       1  
MEn rabbit MJ/kg DM 18.1         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


ADAS, 1988; AFZ, 2011; Agunbiade et al., 1992; Agunbiade et al., 2004; Ajayi et al., 2009; Ashes et al., 1978; Aufrère et al., 1988; Aufrère et al., 1991; Behnke, 1983; Beran et al., 2005; Bui Xuan Men et al., 1995; Cavani et al., 1996; CIRAD, 1991; CIRAD, 2008; Clark et al., 1993; Clark et al., 1997; De Boever et al., 1988; De Boever et al., 1994; Dewar, 1967; Faldet et al., 1991; Fan et al., 1995; Flachowsky et al., 1997; Garg et al., 2002; Goes et al., 2010; Grela et al., 1995; Henderson et al., 1984; Herkelman et al., 1992; Holm, 1971; Islam et al., 1997; Kan et al., 1988; Kendall et al., 1982; Knabe et al., 1989; Lah et al., 1980; Laining et al., 2004; Lawrence, 1978; Lessire et al., 1988; Madsen et al., 1984; Maertens et al., 1985; Marcondes et al., 2009; Martinez et al., 2004; Marty et al., 1993; Masoero et al., 1994; Michalet-Doreau et al., 1985; Min Wang et al., 2008; Mjoun et al., 2010; Mohamed et al., 1988; Moss et al., 1994; Nalle, 2009; Nehring et al., 1963; Nengas et al., 1995; Noblet, 2001; NRC, 1994; Pozy et al., 1996; Qiao ShiYan et al., 2004; Quinsac et al., 2005; Ravindran et al., 1994; Rudolph et al., 1983; Secchiari et al., 2003; Shen YingRan et al., 2004; Tiwari et al., 2006; Van Dijk et al., 1982; Walker, 1975; Wiseman et al., 1992

Last updated on 12/09/2016 17:07:09

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 91.2 1.0 89.0 93.4 71  
Crude protein % DM 42.4 1.3 39.4 45.6 74  
Crude fibre % DM 3.7 0.9 2.1 5.5 65  
NDF % DM 9.1   3.1 9.7 2 *
ADF % DM 4.8 2.4 1.2 5.6 3 *
Lignin % DM 0.6   0.6 1.4 2 *
Ether extract % DM 20.9 1.6 17.5 23.5 65  
Ash % DM 5.5 0.4 4.9 6.3 68  
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 5.1       1  
Total sugars % DM 8.5 0.5 7.2 9.6 51  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 23.6         *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 1.9   1.9 2.0 2  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 6.8   6.1 7.4 2  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.2       1  
Iron mg/kg DM 54   40 68 2  
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine % protein 4.2       1  
Arginine % protein 7.3       1  
Aspartic acid % protein 11.5       1  
Cystine % protein 2.2       1  
Glutamic acid % protein 18.4       1  
Glycine % protein 4.2       1  
Histidine % protein 2.5       1  
Isoleucine % protein 4.7       1  
Leucine % protein 7.8       1  
Lysine % protein 6.4       1  
Methionine % protein 1.7       1  
Phenylalanine % protein 5.0       1  
Proline % protein 5.0       1  
Serine % protein 6.1       1  
Threonine % protein 4.2       1  
Tyrosine % protein 3.6       1  
Valine % protein 5.0       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 82.2         *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 84.7         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 20.0         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 15.5         *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 88.5         *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 20.9         *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 19.8         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.3         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2011; Allan et al., 2000; Ashes et al., 1978; Devendra et al., 1970; Neumark, 1970; Nguyen Nhut Xuan Dung et al., 2002; Quinsac et al., 2005

Last updated on 12/09/2016 17:08:01

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 88.6 1.5 84.2 93.0 2847  
Crude protein % DM 39.5 1.5 35.4 43.5 2742  
Crude fibre % DM 6.5 1.3 3.1 10.1 1244  
NDF % DM 13.6 1.8 11.8 18.7 39 *
ADF % DM 8.0 1.0 6.7 10.9 38 *
Lignin % DM 0.8 0.4 0.4 1.9 37 *
Ether extract % DM 22.1 1.3 18.5 25.2 960  
Ash % DM 5.7 0.4 4.8 6.9 1189  
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 6.1 2.1 2.8 9.3 22  
Total sugars % DM 8.8 0.9 6.9 10.0 19  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 23.8 0.7 22.0 24.1 7 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 3.4 0.8 1.9 4.8 144  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 5.9 0.5 4.7 7.0 148  
Potassium g/kg DM 19.2 1.1 16.0 21.1 16  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 23  
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.4 0.2 2.2 2.9 9  
Manganese mg/kg DM 32   31 32 2  
Zinc mg/kg DM 13   12 13 2  
Copper mg/kg DM 46   46 47 2  
Iron mg/kg DM 129 73 67 209 3  
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine % protein 4.3 0.1 4.1 4.5 10  
Arginine % protein 7.2 0.3 7.0 7.9 10  
Aspartic acid % protein 11.2 0.2 10.8 11.5 9  
Cystine % protein 1.5 0.1 1.3 1.7 12  
Glutamic acid % protein 17.7 0.4 17.1 18.3 9  
Glycine % protein 4.3 0.2 4.0 4.6 10  
Histidine % protein 2.5 0.1 2.4 2.8 10  
Isoleucine % protein 4.6 0.1 4.4 4.9 10  
Leucine % protein 7.5 0.2 7.1 7.7 9  
Lysine % protein 6.0 0.2 5.7 6.4 20  
Methionine % protein 1.4 0.1 1.2 1.7 13  
Phenylalanine % protein 5.1 0.2 4.9 5.4 10  
Proline % protein 5.2 0.2 4.9 5.5 8  
Serine % protein 4.9 0.1 4.9 5.2 10  
Threonine % protein 3.9 0.2 3.7 4.5 11  
Tryptophan % protein 1.3 0.0 1.2 1.3 7  
Tyrosine % protein 3.6   3.6 3.7 2  
Valine % protein 4.7 0.2 4.6 5.2 10  
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Antitrypsic activity TIU/mg DM 6.88 3.50 0.22 20.00 775  
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 6.4       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 81.4         *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 83.7         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 19.9         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 15.4         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 100.0       1  
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 60       1  
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 85.7         *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 20.4         *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 19.4         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.1         *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 81.6       1  
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 15.7       1  

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2011; Cavani et al., 1996; CIRAD, 1991; CIRAD, 2008; Clark et al., 1997; Faldet et al., 1991; Herkelman et al., 1992; Kan et al., 1988; Laining et al., 2004; Lessire et al., 1988; Marty et al., 1993; Moss et al., 1994; Nengas et al., 1995; Noblet, 2001; NRC, 1994; Pozy et al., 1996

Last updated on 12/09/2016 17:12:38

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 89.0 1.9 83.9 94.6 3032  
Crude protein % DM 39.5 1.3 35.8 43.1 2976  
Crude fibre % DM 6.1 1.3 3.6 9.7 1767  
NDF % DM 13.1 2.4 8.4 15.7 20 *
ADF % DM 7.7 1.2 6.0 9.6 16 *
Lignin % DM 0.8 0.6 0.4 2.4 20 *
Ether extract % DM 20.7 1.6 16.5 24.4 1597  
Ash % DM 5.8 0.5 4.6 7.4 1523  
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 6.3 1.8 2.4 9.9 71  
Total sugars % DM 8.5 0.7 7.0 9.6 69  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 23.5 0.3 23.1 24.1 17 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 3.3 0.8 1.7 4.9 230  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 6.2 0.5 5.2 7.3 228  
Potassium g/kg DM 18.7 1.6 15.0 20.3 16  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 60  
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.3 0.3 1.7 3.1 15  
Manganese mg/kg DM 30 5 22 38 11  
Zinc mg/kg DM 45 4 40 50 11  
Copper mg/kg DM 15 6 12 31 11  
Iron mg/kg DM 124 12 108 143 10  
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine % protein 4.2 0.2 3.8 4.5 14  
Arginine % protein 7.2 0.3 6.6 7.9 18  
Aspartic acid % protein 10.8 0.6 9.9 11.7 19  
Cystine % protein 1.6 0.1 1.4 1.7 26  
Glutamic acid % protein 18.0 0.8 16.2 19.0 13  
Glycine % protein 4.2 0.2 3.9 4.6 15  
Histidine % protein 2.8 0.3 2.3 3.3 17  
Isoleucine % protein 4.5 0.2 4.2 4.8 18  
Leucine % protein 7.4 0.3 6.9 7.7 17  
Lysine % protein 6.3 0.3 5.7 6.8 46  
Methionine % protein 1.4 0.1 1.3 1.6 34  
Phenylalanine % protein 5.0 0.2 4.7 5.4 19  
Proline % protein 5.1 0.3 4.6 5.7 18  
Serine % protein 4.8 0.3 4.2 5.2 17  
Threonine % protein 3.9 0.2 3.6 4.2 20  
Tryptophan % protein 1.3 0.0 1.3 1.4 3  
Tyrosine % protein 3.6 0.2 3.3 3.8 16  
Valine % protein 4.8 0.3 4.4 5.5 19  
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Antitrypsic activity TIU/mg DM 7.98 4.81 1.15 25.40 608  
Tannins, condensed (eq. catechin) g/kg DM 0.8       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 81.5         *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 83.6         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 19.6         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 15.2         *
a (N) % 12.6       1  
b (N) % 87.4       1  
c (N) h-1 0.053       1  
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 62         *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 54   39 54 2 *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 86.0 6.7 74.8 92.3 6 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 20.2 1.8 17.5 22.1 6 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 19.1         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 13.8         *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 87.1 6.4 77.0 94.8 8  
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 16.0 0.8 14.8 17.6 11  
AMEn broiler MJ/kg DM 17.1 2.6 15.1 22.1 6  

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


ADAS, 1988; AFZ, 2011; Agunbiade et al., 1992; Fan et al., 1995; Henderson et al., 1984; Knabe et al., 1989; Lessire et al., 1988; Marty et al., 1993; Masoero et al., 1994; Michalet-Doreau et al., 1985; Mjoun et al., 2010; Noblet, 2001; Qiao ShiYan et al., 2004; Rudolph et al., 1983; Shen YingRan et al., 2004; Van Dijk et al., 1982

Last updated on 12/09/2016 17:11:38

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Nozière P., Lessire M., Lebas F., 2016. Soybean seeds. Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. http://www.feedipedia.org/node/42 Last updated on September 17, 2016, 1:08