Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA)

Soybean Meal

While not technically a biodiesel co-product, soybean meal (SBM) plays an important role in a biorefinery’s profitability.  Expanding demand for soybean meal can help ensure an adequate, cost-effective supply of soybean oil for biodiesel production. Soybean meal is the product remaining after extracting most of the oil from whole soybeans.  The extracted flakes are cooked and ground into meal. 

SBM is high in protein and energy and is considered a premium product because of its high digestibility, high energy content and consistency. Due to its high quality protein, SBM is an excellent ingredient for swine, beef and dairy cattle, poultry, and aquaculture feed formulations.  It is also becoming popular for use in pet foods and horse feed.

The poultry industry is the largest consumer of soybean meal, using 50% of U.S. production.  Swine (26%), beef (12%), dairy (6%), and pet foods (3%) respectively use the remaining supply.

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