The soya bean plant is native to China, where it has been cultivated for well over 13,000 years. It was an essential crop for the ancient Chinese who regarded it a necessity for life.
Soya beans were introduced into other regions of Asia centuries later and it wasn’t until the early 20th century that it began to be used for more than animal feed in the West. The soya bean is now the most widely grown and utilized legume worldwide.
Since the 1970s there has been a marked increase in the consumption of traditional soya foods and the development of other soya foods which simulate traditional meat and dairy products such as soya milk, soya sausages, soya cheese and soya yogurts.