Soy meal or Soybean meal is used in food and animal feeds, principally as a protein supplement, but also as a source of metabolizable energy. Typically 1 bushel (i.e. 60 lbs. or 27.2 kg) of soybeans yields 48 lbs. (21.8 kg) of soybean meal. Some, but not all, soy meal is produced from the residue left after oil extraction. Soybean meal goes through heat treatment during production, to denature the trypsin inhibitors of soybeans, which would otherwise interfere with protein digestion.
Main types of soy meal:
- Full-fat soy meal, made from whole soybeans. It has a high metabolizable energy concentration. Crude protein concentration is about 38 percent. This kind of product is sometimes fed to various classes of livestock.
- Defatted soybean meal, containing no hulls. This product has an intermediate energy concentration. Crude protein concentration is about 48 percent. This product is commonly fed to swine, broilers, and layers.
- Defatted soybean meal, containing soybean hulls. The hulls are readily digestible by ruminant livestock. Crude protein concentration is about 44 percent. This product is often fed as a protein supplement for domestic ruminants.
- For human consumption
Globally, about 2 percent of soy meal make use for soy flour and other products for human consumption. Soy flour provides the basis for some soy milk and also vegetable protein in full-fat, low-fat and defatted types.
- For animal feed
Globally, about 98 percent of soy meal make use as animal feed. It can be an important supplement to ensure adequate protein intake. And partly because of its palatability, soybean meal is often good for use in starter rations when feeding livestock.
Soy Meal intake in livestock, % Poultry 48%
Dairy Cattle 9%