A team of animal scientists from the University of Illinois and Ohio State University pushed an unusual paper in 2004 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Karr-Lilienthall et al., “Chemical Composition and Protein Quality of Soybeans and Soybean Meals from Five Leading Soybean-Producing Countries.”
The beans were grown circa 2002. The soybeans and meal from the U.S. and Argentina were predominantly GE/Roundup Ready, and the beans from India and China were not.
The paper reports enormous differences in crude protein levels, as well as the levels of individual amino acids and minerals. In general, levels were lower in the U.S. and Argentina soybeans and higher in the soybeans from China and to a lesser extent, India.
Crude protein in U.S. grown soybeans was 37.1%, while the Argentina beans contained 32.6%.
Soybeans from China contained 44.9% protein, 21% higher than the U.S. soybeans.
Two samples of “high” and “low” quality soybeans from India were tested, with crude protein levels of 39.6% and 37.5%. So, the low-quality soybeans from India had a comparable level of protein to U.S.-grown soybeans.
Comparable differences were reported in a number of amino acid and mineral levels, when comparing U.S. and Chinese soybeans.
Micromineral levels were more variable, with levels in Chinese soybeans exceeding those in U.S. soybeans by 50% or more in the case of iron, nickel, and aluminum, while U.S. soybeans had much higher levels of barium, molybdenum, and selenium.
Karr-Lilienthall et al., “Chemical Composition and Protein Quality of Soybeans and Soybean Meals from Five Leading Soybean-Producing Countries,” J. Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol 52: 6193-6199.