Global Status of Vegetable Soybean

Ramakrishnan M. Nair, Venkata Naresh Boddepalli, Miao Rong Yan, Vineet Kumar, Balwinder Gill, Rabi S. Pan, Chansen Wang, Glen L. Hartman, Renan Silva e Souza, Prakit Somta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Vegetable soybean, popularly known as edamame in Japan and mao dou in China is a specialty soybean. Green pods with physiologically mature beans are harvested, and whole pods or shelled beans are used as a fresh or frozen vegetable. Vegetable soybeans are prepared in diverse ways, and they are highly nutritious, with excellent taste properties. Unlike grain soybeans, it is perishable. In this review, the chronological progression of area, production, export, import, and expansion of vegetable soybeans and potential for further expansion is discussed. Available information on current ongoing research and development activities in various countries around the world are presented, and their relevance is discussed. At present, the production and consumption of vegetable soybeans are mainly in East and Southeast Asia, with Japan as the largest importing country that dictates the global market. However, interest and trend in cultivation of this crop in other regions has increased significantly. Lack of germplasm or suitable varieties is a major constraint in vegetable soybean production and expansion in countries outside East and Southeast Asia. Most of the vegetable soybean varieties are genetically related and are susceptible to biotic and abiotic stresses. Extensive research and breeding of vegetable soybeans are still restricted in a few countries such as China, Japan, Taiwan and the USA. The need for focused research and development activities with concern for the environment, farmers’ and processors’ profit, consumers’ preference, quality, and nutrition are emphasized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number609
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • edamame
  • vegetable soybean
  • nutritional quality
  • breeding
  • biotic stress
  • abiotic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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