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Soybean oil

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Soybean oil
Bottles of soybean oil
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Soybean oil (British English: soyabean oil) is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean (Glycine max). It is one of the most widely consumed cooking oils and the second most consumed vegetable oil.[2] As a drying oil, processed soybean oil is also used as a base for printing inks (soy ink) and oil paints.



Soybeans were cultivated in China by the late Shang dynasty, around 1000 BCE.[3] Shijing, the Book of Odes, contains several poems mentioning soybeans.[4]


Country Production, 2019
1  China 15,998,400
2  United States 11,290,000
3  Brazil 11,263,345
4  Argentina 8,081,200
5  India 1,438,200
6  Mexico 874,503
7  Paraguay 704,200
8  Russia 741,173
9  Egypt 653,400
10  Netherlands 635,200
Source : FAOSTAT
Soybean oil, meal and beans

To produce soybean oil, the soybeans are cracked, adjusted for moisture content, heated to between 60 and 88 °C (140 and 190 °F), rolled into flakes, and solvent-extracted with hexanes. The oil is then refined, blended for different applications, and sometimes hydrogenated. Soybean oils, both liquid and partially hydrogenated are sold as "vegetable oil", or are ingredients in a wide variety of processed foods. Most of the remaining residue (soybean meal) is used as animal feed.

In the 2002–2003 growing season, 30.6 million tons (MT) of soybean oil were produced worldwide, constituting about half of worldwide edible vegetable oil production, and thirty percent of all fats and oils produced, including animal fats and oils derived from tropical plants.[5] In 2018–2019, world production was at 57.4 MT with the leading producers including China (16.6 MT), US (10.9 MT), Argentina (8.4 MT), Brazil (8.2 MT), and EU (3.2 MT).[6]



Soybean oil contains only trace amounts of fatty carboxylic acids (about 0.3% by mass in the crude oil, 0.03% in the refined oil).[7] Instead it contains esters. In the following content, the expressions "fatty acids" and "acid" below refer to esters rather than carboxylic acids.

Per 100 g, soybean oil has 16 g of saturated fat, 23 g of monounsaturated fat, and 58 g of polyunsaturated fat.[8][9] The major unsaturated fatty acids in soybean oil triglycerides are the polyunsaturates alpha-linolenic acid (C-18:3), 7-10%, and linoleic acid (C-18:2), 51%; and the monounsaturate oleic acid (C-18:1), 23%.[10] It also contains the saturated fatty acids stearic acid (C-18:0), 4%, and palmitic acid (C-16:0), 10%.

The high-proportion of oxidation-prone polyunsaturated fatty acid is undesirable for some uses, such as cooking oils. Three companies, Monsanto Company, DuPont/Bunge, and Asoyia in 2004 introduced low linolenic Roundup Ready soybeans. Hydrogenation may be used to reduce the unsaturation in linolenic acid. The resulting oil is called hydrogenated soybean oil. If the hydrogenation is only partially complete, the oil may contain small amounts of trans fat.

Trans-fat is also commonly introduced during conventional oil deodorization, with a 2005 review detecting 0.4 to 2.1% trans content in deodorized oil.[11][12][13]





Soybean oil is mostly used for frying, cooking and baking. It is also used as a condiment for salads.

Drying oils


Soybean oil is one of many drying oils, which means that it will slowly harden (due to free-radical based polymerization) upon exposure to air, forming a flexible, transparent, and waterproof solid. Because of this property, it is used in some printing ink and oil paint formulations. However, other oils (such as linseed oil) may be superior[how?] for some drying oil applications[citation needed].

Medical uses


Soybean oil is indicated for parenteral nutrition as a source of calories and essential fatty acids.[14][15]

Fixative for insect repellents


While soybean oil has no direct insect repellent activity, it is used as a fixative to extend the short duration of action of essential oils such as geranium oil in several commercial products.[16][17]


Soybean oil is one of the most commonly produced vegetable oils

Soybean oil is traded at the Chicago Board of Trade in contracts of 60,000 pounds at a time. Prices are listed in cents and thousandths of a cent per pound, with a minimum fluctuation of 5/1000 cents.[18] It has been traded there since 1951.[19]

Below are the CQG contract specifications for Bean Oil:

Contract Specifications[20]
Bean Oil (BOA)
Exchange: CBOT
Sector: Grain
Tick Size: 0.01
Tick Value: 6 USD
BPV: 600
Denomination: USD
Decimal Place: 2


  1. ^ a b "Fat emulsion Use During Pregnancy". Drugs.com. 30 June 2020. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Global vegetable oil consumption, 2019/20".
  3. ^ Li Hl (1983). "The Domestication of Plants in China: Ecogeographical Considerations". In Keightley DN (ed.). The Origins of Chinese Civilization. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 29–38. ISBN 0-520-04229-8.
  4. ^ Hymowitz T (1970). "On the domestication of the soybean". Economic Botany. 24 (4): 408–421. doi:10.1007/BF02860745. S2CID 26735964.
  5. ^ United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Statistics 2004 Archived 2013-03-02 at the Wayback Machine. Table 3-51.
  6. ^ "World Soy Oil Production". The Soybean Processors Association of India. Archived from the original on 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  7. ^ Rukunudin IH (1998). "A Modified Method for Determining Free Fatty Acidsfrom Small Soybean Oil Sample Sizes". Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 75 (5): 563–568. doi:10.1007/s11746-998-0066-z. S2CID 33242242.
  8. ^ Poth U (2001). "Drying Oils and Related Products". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. doi:10.1002/14356007.a09_055. ISBN 3527306730.
  9. ^ "Oil, soybean, salad or cooking Nutrition Facts & Calories". www.nutritiondata.com. Archived from the original on 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  10. ^ Ivanov DS, Lević JD, Sredanović SA (2010). "Fatty acid composition of various soybean products". Journal of the Institute for Food Technology in Novi Sad. 37 (2): 65–70. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  11. ^ Azizian H, Kramer JK (August 2005). "A rapid method for the quantification of fatty acids in fats and oils with emphasis on trans fatty acids using Fourier Transform near infrared spectroscopy (FT-NIR)". Lipids. 40 (8): 855–867. doi:10.1007/s11745-005-1448-3. PMID 16296405. S2CID 4062268.
  12. ^ "Chapter 5 : Processing and refining edible oils". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved 2021-07-04.
  13. ^ Johnson LA, White PJ, Galloway R (2008). Soybeans : chemistry, production, processing, and utilization. Urbana, IL: AOCS Press. ISBN 978-0-12-804352-3. OCLC 491265615.
  14. ^ "Nutrilipid I.V. fat emulsion- soybean oil injection, solution". DailyMed. 23 June 2020. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Intralipid- i.v. fat emulsion emulsion". DailyMed. 9 January 2019. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  16. ^ Barnard DR, Xue RD (July 2004). "Laboratory evaluation of mosquito repellents against Aedes albopictus, Culex nigripalpus, and Ochierotatus triseriatus (Diptera: Culicidae)". Journal of Medical Entomology. 41 (4): 726–730. doi:10.1603/0022-2585-41.4.726. PMID 15311467. Archived from the original on 2021-03-08. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  17. ^ Fradin MS, Day JF (July 2002). "Comparative efficacy of insect repellents against mosquito bites". The New England Journal of Medicine. 347 (1): 13–18. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa011699. PMID 12097535.
  18. ^ "CONSECUTIVE SOYBEAN OIL CSO – CONTRACT SPECS". CME Group. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  19. ^ Shurtleff W, Aoyagi A (2016). History of Soybean Crushing: Soy Oil and Soybean Meal (980–2016):: Extensively Annotated Bibliography and Sourcebook. Soyinfo Center. p. 1850. ISBN 978-1-928914-89-1.
  20. ^ "Download Historical Bean Oil Intraday Futures Data (BOA)". PortaraCQG. Retrieved 2022-04-14.
  • "Soybean oil". Drug Information Portal. U.S. National Library of Medicine.