The soybean, Glycine max L., is a subtropical, annual dicot, and member of the pea family (Fabaceae). Soybeans are native to eastern Asia, where they were first cultivated in northeastern China around 11 BC. In the following millennium, soybean cultivation spread to Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and other parts of Asia, accompanied by various processing techniques for human consumption. These traditional techniques produced two classes of soyfoods: fermented soyfoods (such as tempeh, miso, and soysauce) and non-fermented soyfoods (such as fresh green soybeans, dry soybeans, soymilk, and tofu) (Rosengarten, 2004).
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