We investigated the fate of radioactive cesium (134Cs plus 137Cs) during the production of tofu, natto, and nimame (boiled soybean) from a contaminated Japanese soybean cultivar harvested in FY2011. Tofu, natto, and nimame were made from soybean grains containing radioactive cesium (240 to 340 Bq/kg [dry weight]), and the radioactive cesium in the processed soybean foods and in by-product fractions such as okara, broth, and waste water was measured with a germanium semiconductor detector. The processing factor is the ratio of radioactive cesium concentration of a product before and after processing. For tofu, natto, nimame, and for the by-product okara, processing factors were 0.12, 0.40, 0.20, and 0.18, respectively; this suggested that these three soybean foods and okara, used mainly as an animal feed, can be considered safe for human and animal consumption according to the standard limit for radioactive cesium of soybean grains. Furthermore, the ratio of radioactive cesium concentrations in the cotyledon, hypocotyl, and seed coat portions of the soybean grain was found to be approximately 1:1:0.4.

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