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Soybean oil nutrition facts

Soybean oil is the edible oil extracted from soybean seeds. It is the most popular and largely used cooking oils in the world according to the US agricultural services data information. Soybean is one of the ancient crops cultivated in Chinese inlands and only a few hundred years ago, was introduced to rest of the world. Today, it is one of the widely cultivated commercial field crops grown in the U.S, Brazil, Argentina, China and India.

Soybean is an annual dicotyledonous plant belonging to the family of Fabaceae (Leguminosae) in the genus; Glycine. Scientific name: Glycine max. (L.) Merr.

soybean oil and soy seeds
Soybean seeds and oil.

Soybean flourishes well under moisture, nutrient-rich, and well-drained soils. It is a short term crop, the whole crop requires about 120 days from plantation to harvest. Yellow soybean seeds are specially chosen for oil pressing. 

Physical characteristics of soybean oil

Dry soybean seeds compose about 18-20% ofextractable oil by weight. The seeds are then subject to pressing to obtain oil and the residue soybean meal which is used as animal feed. Crude soybean oil is deep yellow in color and contains impurities such as moisture, lecithin, free-fatty acids, and certain volatile compounds. These impurities are removed through further refininement to obtain acceptable standard oil. Refined oil is clear light yellow liquid, and features neutral odor and taste. Fresh oil has very low free fatty acids (FFA) less than 0.1%. Its specific gravity @ 25 °C is 0.9150–0.9280, Iodine value-75 – 94, and saponification value-184 – 195.

Soybean oil nutrition facts

  • Soybean oil is one of the cheif poly-unsaturated cooking oils in currnet usage. 100 g oil provides 884 calories.

  • It is one of the cooking oils with high smoke point; 495 °F, similar to peanut oil. The property which can be employed in setting oil temperature while deep frying food items.

  • Soybean oil has a very good lipid profile. It has saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (SFA: MUFA: PUFA= 16: 24: 58) fats in healthy proportions.

  • It is one of the stable cooking oils; having a long shelf life.

Health benefits of soybean oil

  • Soybean oil is chiefly a poly-unsaturated fats rich vegetable oil. Linoleic acid (omega-6) is the major poly-unsaturated fatty acid found in it. Additionally it is low in saturated fats, and free from cholesterol; making it as one of the healthiest cooking oils.

  • Soybean, being a vegetable oil, is a good source of plant sterols, especially β-sitosterol. The FDA has approved the following claim for phytosterols: "Foods containing at least 0.4 gram per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 0.8 gram, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." Phyto-sterols competitively inhibit cholesterol absorption in the gut and thereby can reduce blood cholesterol levels by 10% to 15%

  • Soybean oil is a moderate source of anti-oxidant vitamin E. 100 g fresh oil has 8.18 mg of α-tocopherol and 64.26 mg of gamma-tocopherol. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.

  • The oil has vitamin K in high concentrations; 100 g of oil compose of 183.9 mcg. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

Soybean oil (Glycine  max. (L.) Merr),
Nutritional value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 884 Kcal 44%
Carbohydrates 0 g 0%
Protein 0 g 0%
Total Fat 100 g 500%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
Folates 0 µg 0%
Niacin 0 mg 0%
Pantothenic acid 0 mg 0%
Pyridoxine 0 mg 0%
Riboflavin 0 mg 0%
Thiamin 0 mg 0%
Vitamin A 0 IU 0%
Vitamin C 0 0%
Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) 8.18 mg 54%
Vitamin K 183.9 µg 153%
Sodium 0 mg 0%
Potassium 0 mg 0%
Calcium 0 mg 0%
Copper 0 mg 0%
Iron 0.05 mg <0.5%
Magnesium 0 mg 0%
Manganese 0 mg 0%
Phosphorus 0 mg 0%
Selenium 0 µg 0%
Zinc 0.01 mg <1%
Carotene-β 0 µg --
Crypto-xanthin-β 0 µg --
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg --
Phytosterols 172 mg --

Selection and storage

Soybean oil commercially sold in the markets as cooking, and salad oil. It is also used in the products like margarine and shortenings. Mechanically pressed oil is superior in terms of vitamin E, however, it may compose more free fatty acids and lecithin. Solvent extraction method is widely in practice to extract this oil worldwide.

In the stores, choose fresh oil, especially packed in containers, since being high in poly-unsaturated fats soybean oil tends to undergo early oxidation on exposure to air, light and moisture. Commercially available oil oftentimes added with vitamin E, oleic acid (mono-unsaturated fatty acid) to improve its nutrition profile.

At home, store unpacked pack at room temperature in cool dark place. Transfer small amounts into oil dispensing bottle for daily use. At places where average day temperature exceeds > 25 C, it is preferably in cold storage.

Culinary use

Soya bean oil is amongst the widely used cooking oils in the world. It is one of the affordable and readily available oils that is greatly supported by the American Agriculture department.

Commercially available soybean oil is clear yellow, and has neutral taste and having high smoke point, it can be used in wide range of cooking styles from light cooking to high-temperature frying.

Soybean oil
Fat profile per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value
Fats (Lipids)
Total 100 g
Saturated 15.65 g
Mono Unsaturated 22.78 g
Poly unsaturated 57.74 g
18:2,  n-6 50.418 g
18:3,  n-3 (ALA) 6.789 g

Safety profile

Soy seeds and its products are one of the common allergogenic food substances around. Symptoms of Soybean oil allergy are a type of hypersensitivity response in some people to food substances prepared with using this oil. Common reactions may include allergic skin problems like urticaria, hives, eczematous dermatitis. In severe cases symptoms may include vomiting, gastritis, pain abdomen, swelling of lips and throat leading to breathing difficulty, wheezing, chest congestion, and in rare cases may lead to death. It is, therefore, people with known soy product allergy may be advised to avoid any food preparations that contain soy food stuffs.

Research studies, however, suggests that highly refined soybean oil, which has had all the allergic-proteins and impurities removed, does not cause a hypersensitive-response even in severely allergic individuals. (Medical Disclaimer).

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