Newly harvested, high-quality soybeans are selected as the first step in soy product processing. The soybeans go through a series of cleaning, cracking, and dehulling processes, followed by oil extraction for cooking, biodiesel, and other uses.
The residue, consisting of defatted white soy flakes, is then toasted and ground to produce the soybean meal that has become a staple in animal rations worldwide.
Dehulled soybean meal, with a protein content of 47%-48%, can be the primary protein ingredient in most freshwater omnivorous fish diets, and a significant component of the protein composition in many marine fish and shrimp diets. Dehulled soybean meal can be routinely incorporated into all-plant protein, freshwater fish feeds at 50%-55% inclusion rates. In marine fish and shrimp diets, the high nutrient density of the feeds typically limits dehulled soybean meal inclusion to a maximum rate of 30%-35%. Inclusion rates are lower for some marine species that have demonstrated an allergic response to soybean meal.