History of Soy Flour, Grits, Flakes, and Cereal-Soy Blends - Part 6


by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi

 

A Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and
Soyfoods, 1100 B.C. to the 1980s


©Copyright 2004 Soyfoods Center, Lafayette, Californi


Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

HISTORY OF SOY FLOUR, FLAKES, GRITS AND CEREAL-SOY BLENDS IN ASIA

Most of the soy flour traditionally used in East Asia was roasted soy flour, as described in Chapter 26. Yet there are many ambiguous references to soy flour in China from early times, with no descriptions of how these products were made. It is quite possible that non-roasted soy flour actually originated in China. Starting in the mid-1960s a new generation of soy flour products were introduced to Asia, largely as a result of the inauguration of the US PL 480 Food for Peace Program, the development of low-cost extrusion cookers, and a new awareness of the soybean as a low-cost high-quality protein fortifier for traditional grains, primarily in weaning foods. The largest and most successful projects have been in Sri Lanka and Thailand. The following countries are listed alphabetically.

Bangladesh. From the early 1970s on Bangladesh was a major recipient of PL 480 cereal-soy blends. Smith (1975), in Basic Soybean Cooking for Bangladesh, devoted a chapter to "soyflour". She described two ways of making it: (1) boiling soybeans, sun-drying, then grinding them to a flour in a hand-turned stone mill, and (2) roasting the beans in sand in a skillet, then grinding them. She gave recipes for using soy flour as a fortifying supplement in rice, Bengali breads, chapatis, parathas, puris, and noodles.

China. The earliest known Chinese reference to a product that may have been a type of soy flour was in the Han Shu (History of the Han Dynasty), written in AD 90. After stating that soybeans (dadou) were boiled and used as an outside coating or garnish for food, it stated, referring to an earlier work of unknown date: "According to the commentary of the second Ch'eng, the term . . . Tzu is identical with fen (flour). In the commentary of the former Cheng, these are separated into different classes and the fen is described as being a tou hsieh (char??) or Bean Flour . . . The bean (soybean) was also used to make shih (soy nuggets) (Swann 1950??)." The Pieh lu (Ming-i pieh-lu, a materia medica by T'ao Hung-ching, AD 452-536) states: If the soybean (pai ta tou) is eaten for a long period it will cause the body to become heavy. When cooked in a powder or meallike form, it tastes good and sweet and is a good remedy for the following diseases:" (six are listed) (Wu 1848). The Yu p'ien, written by Ku Yeh-wang in AD 543 in the section on beans referred to "ground beans," pronounced "yai" or "ai"; this may be a type of soy flour. A similar term (perhaps the same term written in an alternate way) appeared in the Kuang yun^, written by Lu Fa-yen and others in AD 601. The Sui shu, written by Wei Cheng-chang, Sun Wu-chi and others in AD 656, referred to soy flour using the same term as the earlier Han Shu: "On one occasion, famine struck the area within the passes. Investigators were sent out to see what the people were eating. They brought back the bean flour/powder (tou hsieh) and grain husks that they found."

In the Pen-ts'ao kang-mu (Li 1578-97), a work with extensive information on soyfoods, the term dou fen appeared in a section on "green beans" (probably mung beans). Thus it probably did not refer to soy flour, although the same term was occasionally after 1950 to refer to soy flour.

Since at least the 1500s, the Chinese had crushed soybeans and expressed the oil. The defatted soybean cake (called doubing), which was produced (especially after the 1860s) in increasingly large amounts, was apparently rarely if ever used as food; most of it was used for fertilizer or livestock feeds. This seems curious, since it was a nutritious, low-cost, and versatile foodstuff, and since Chinese are famous for "eating anything." Why was it not ground and added to steamed breads, noodles, and the like?

In 1767 Samuel Bowen, an Englishman who had traveled in China, reported that the Chinese used soybeans to "prepare an excellent kind of vermicelli, esteemed by some preferable to the Italian; nothing keeps better at sea, not being subject to be destroyed by the weevil." Hymowitz and Harlan (1983), who reported on Bowen's work with soybeans, confirmed that soybeans are not attacked by bruchid beetles (Callosobruchus spp.) as are mung beans (Vigna radiata). This important account raises a number of interesting questions concerning this soy flour: (1) Was this vermicelli made by dry-grinding the soybeans to make a flour (which may or may not have been precooked) or by wet-grinding them, as was done with mung beans to make mung bean vermicelli, also called "cellophane noodles" or "bean threads" (fensi in pinyin)? (2) Were the soybeans cooked before being ground? If so by roasting or boiling? (3) What held these noodles together, since soybeans contain no starch? Perhaps starch was added. (4) Was this vermicelli invented for and used on ships only, or was it a food used by the people in general? (5) Did the soy flour have uses other than in this vermicelli? If so, what was soy flour called? Knowing the answers to these questions would allow us to decide whether nonroasted soy flour originated in China or in Europe.

In 1921 Prof. Rouest in France wrote that the firm of Hendebert de Lion was selling soy flour that it imported from China; the retail price was 10 francs per kg, "a prohibitive price" (Bottari 1923).

In his excellent "Soybeans as Human Food," Horvath (1927) discussed soy flour and its history at length. Living in China, he was writing in part to tell the people there and in Manchuria of the exciting developments with soy flour in the West and to urge them to start to use their vast supplies of defatted soybean cake to make soy flour for human foods. He acknowledged that the cake, which was often allowed to become moldy and rancid, would have to be processed and stored more carefully, lest it be harmful when consumed. Then he added:

In China the soybean flour (rather, a soybean meal) is mostly used together with flour of wheat, millet and corn. A mixture of millet flour (8 parts) and soybean flour (2-3 parts) is extensively used in the villages as well as in the cities . . . A kind of steamed bread, wo-tou, is prepared from it, with a little soda to make it light; without soda the bread would be heavy and hard. Commonly it is known as "yellow golden pagoda," as its shape, color, and free space inside make it resemble a conical temple roof . . . A native family of six uses in China an average of 2 catties (1 kg) of this flour per day. The poor sometimes live exclusively on this bread. It is of interest to note that in China the percentage of soybean flour added to millet flour for making wo-tou is that same as is recommended by Western scientists fro making bread.

In China and Japan soybean flour is largely used as roasted flour. The American "health flour" is also a roasted bean flour.

Various kinds of confectionery are manufactured in China with the addition of soybean flour. Some of them are really excellent and are sold in most of the big shops in the cities. In Peking the most famous products of this kind are manufactured by the Kai Cheng Bean Products Company (which was run by Li Yu-ying, see Chapter 50).

This is the first statement we know of concerning Chinese soy flour that states how it was made, i.e. by roasting. This might imply that the flour referred to in the numerous earlier references was also made by roasting, which means that all should appear in Chapter 26, rather than here. Yet this key point, which determines whether nonroasted soy flour originated in Asia or Europe, is not at all clear.

In late 1930 William Morse, during his visit to Beijing, purchased some macaroons (huang ton ping, the name means "yellow soybean cakes"), which he said were made from soybean flour, wheat flour, sugar, and egg whites (Dorsett and Morse 1928-31). He gave a photograph of them on page 6254 of his Log. On page 6792 of the Log Dorsett noted that "the best soy and mung beans for use in sprouting and making bean vermicelli come from the Kalgan region."

Guy and Yeh (1938) stated that the diet of the poor in China at that time was whole grains and legumes, including mixed flours of maize and soybean (9:1) or of millet (Setaria italica) and soybean (6:4). The cereal was prepared in steamed breads. The English physician Gray (1936), who lived in China in the 1930s, reported much as Guy and Yeh had on the use of soy flour with grain flours in steamed breads (man-tou), yet he specifically noted that it was a roasted soy flour that was used, which suggests that the flour referred to by Guy and Yeh was also roasted.

During World War II a low-cost and nutritious flour called huen heh mien ("mixed harmony flour") made from a mixture of soy flour and sorghum or corn flour, was used as a substitute for wheat flour. This may well have been made from defatted soybean meal, perhaps the first soy flour made this way in China.

In the early years after founding of the People's Republic in 1949, when cow's milk was in short supply, the Chinese developed a number of infant foods prepared from locally grown products, such as rice and soybeans. Milk Substitute formula No. 5410 contained (by weight) 45% rice flour, 28% soy flour, 16.5% cane sugar, 5% egg yolk powder, and 3% soy oil, plus small amounts of bone meal, fermented millet, salt, and vanilla powder . The resulting product contained 17% protein on a dry weight basis (Stapleton 1974).

By the 1980s there was considerable interest in China in using soy flour (now called dadou fen or huangdou fen) in a variety of foods, however it was not yet actually being used much, in part because of a greater interest in soy protein concentrates and isolates and in part because this defatted product was generally considered to be a poor quality product with a poor flavor. A good quality defatted soy flour (touzhi dadou fen) or whole (full-fat) soy flour (quanzhi dadou fen) used at the 10% level in steamed or baked breads, noodles, sausages, and the like could greatly enhance the nutritional value (and, in the breads, the quality) of these foods at little or no extra cost. Some soy flour could be used in calf-milk replacers. A little (probably whole soy flour) was being used to make a soy flour called doufu fen (tofu flour), that was sold in some markets (at least in Zhengzhou) in 500 gm plastic bags, with instructions for making soymilk or tofu at home. We feel that soy flour, properly processed and used, has as great a potential as any soyfood in China.

India. The earliest known reference to soy flour in India was by the Englishman Kale. In 1936 in his book Soya Bean, he included a 12-page chapter on soy flour, in which he cited many European nutritional studies and stressed that whole soy flour was greatly superior to the defatted product, because it was richer in calories, lecithin, and vitamin A. He reported experiments done with good results at several orphanages in Bombay, where 20% soy flour was added to roti (a hard bread) and bhakari (Gujarati small thin fried cakes). He urged its use throughout India to fortify roti, chapati, and bhakari, plus 25 other popular dishes. He considered it almost indispensable ingredient in Indian vegetarian or diabetic diets.

Soy flour first came to be used on a fairly large scale in India during the late 1960s, when large quantities of Corn-Soy-Milk (CSM) were imported from the USA under the Food for Peace Program. Large quantities of CSM and WSB (Wheat-Soy-Blend) were imported during the 1970s, and played a very important nutritional role, especially during the famine years of 1973-74. Imports tapered off during the early 1980s.

In 1965 Shurpalekar and co-workers at the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysore published a study on the preparation of a high-protein spray-dried soymilk-type weaning food based on whole soy flour. Prepared in response to the shortage and high cost of cow's milk and the development of a similar product (Saridele) in Indonesia, it was fortified with methionine, vitamins and minerals, contained 26% protein and 18% fat, and had a PER of 2.47 (99% that of casein).

In 1966 Bal-Amul, the first weaning food developed and manufactured in Asia, was launched in India. (Incaparina in Guatemala and ProNutro in South Africa had been launched in 1961 and 1962 respectively.) In about 1965 the Green Revolution dwarf wheats had been introduced and soon began to be grown in place of pulses, since they were more profitable. USAID officials became worried about protein deficiencies that might ensue so they began to work to introduce soybeans and to use these plus defatted peanut flour to make Bal-Amul. The word Bal means "baby" and Amul refers to the farmer's co-op that makes it, the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union at Anand, Gujarat. Developed in collaboration with CFTRI in Mysore, Bal-Amul consisted of a soybean and milk base enriched with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (Streeter 1969). During 1973-74 about 54 tonnes of soy flour were used in this soy-fortified weaning food, increasing to 136 tonnes in 1974-75 (Rathod 1976). Total production in 1974 was estimated at 15,000 tonnes and 40,000 tonnes in 1976. Sold commercially in tins, mostly at retail outlets, its price was far beyond the reach of the low-income groups for whom it was originally designed (Orr 1977). A follow-up product, Bal-Ahar, was a soy-fortified dietary supplement containing a higher percentage of soy flour plus cottonseed or peanut flour with or without nonfat dry milk. Designed to replace imported CSM, Bal-Ahar was developed as part of a UNESCO project, using an extrusion cooker supplied by Wenger. During 1974-75, some 227 tonnes of soy flour were used in Bal-Ahar, increasing to 1,360 tonnes in 1975-76 (Rathod 1976). In the early years, much of the soy used in these products was imported by USAID.

Work with low-cost extrusion cookers started in India in about 1973, when a Brady #206 Crop Cooker was brought to Calcutta by CARE India with funding from USAID. It was installed at the factory premises of the United Flour Mills Co. Ltd and the United Cereal Products Ltd. During 1973-74 various experiments were conducted, a number using soy extruded with wheat, corn, rice, or tapioca. Since the soybean crop in India was then in its infancy, soy was not given the attention it would get several years later. In mid-1977 this Brady was moved to Pantnagar for further research. In January 1976 a workshop on "Extruder-based Foods in India" was organized by the Protein Foods and Nutritional Development Association of India to examine the relevance of this timely topic. (Mukhopadhyay, in D. Wilson 1976). Also in 1976 Achaya and Mitra reviewed the use of extrusion cooking in India. Most of these were larger-scale extruders, but a growing number of products contained soy, as soybean production in India skyrocketed.

Interest in soy flour in India increased significantly from 1970 on. In 1970 and 1971 Narayanaswamy and co-workers at CFTRI in Mysore developed a method for making whole soy flour in India and created low-cost protein food based on a blend of wheat and soy flours (70:30), meant to supplement low-protein diets based primarily on wheat or kaffir corn. In 1970 and 1973 Rathod and Williams reported that Indian consumers would accept chapatis fortified with up to 20% soy flour; defatted soy flour was found to be the best accepted, while whole soy flour was found to have an objectionable smell and taste at the 20% level. Most wanted to mix in the soy flour themselves. Also in 1970 Singh, in a book of Indian soybean recipes, described how to make soy flour at home and to use it many recipes. In 1971 Subramanian gathered data (published by Williams in Hill 1976) showing that food-grade defatted soy flour was the least expensive protein source in India. Containing 50% protein, it cost only 2.5 rupees per pound. Taking the cost of 1 kg of protein from this soy flour as 1, the cost of 1 kg of protein from other Indian sources was: defatted peanut/groundnut flour 1, bengal gram (chickpea or garbanzo) dal 2.7, dried peas dal 4, peanuts 4.3, beef 4.4, fish 10.6, nonfat dried milk or fresh whole milk 12, eggs 15.4, chicken 17.1, and mutton 20. As noted above, by the mid-1970s, large amounts of soy flour were being used in the soy-fortified blended foods Bal-Amul and Bal-Ahar. In 1974 Williams and Rathod, in "A Case Study of Expeller Production of Soybean Flour in India," showed that soy flour could be made very economically from expeller pressed soybean meal.

Pioneering work in the development of soy flour in India has been done by the Soya Production and Research Association (SPRA) at Bareilly, directed by Bob Nave and Peter Chowfin. In 1970 Joe Wenger donated a Wenger X-25 extrusion cooker to the new organization and in July 1972 SPRA produced its first large run, 36 tonnes of corn-soy blend to be used in AID feeding programs. By 1974 the company was making 840 tonnes a year of a line of commercial blended and textured products containing soy flour, including an extrusion cooked whole soy flour; half were sold through the retail trade. Some tests showed that children consuming the soy-fortified weaning foods grew better than those fed milk since many Indian children are lactose intolerant, and thus assimilate animal milks only poorly. In the following years SPRA's textured products became very popular. By late 1978 SPRA had three extrusion cookers: The original Wenger X-25, a larger Wenger X-155, and a Brady crop cooker, which had come to SPRA through CARE and G.B. Pant University, after it had been used in Calcutta. A major hindrance to the development of whole soy flour was the unavailability of an inexpensive package (Nave 1979). The flour was too oily to package like CSM. Low-density plastic bags were permeated by the oil; the outside became sticky and the printing came off. High density bags split and laminated plastic bags were too expensive. For more on SPRA, see Chapter 18 (India).

During the late 1970s and early 1980s little or no defatted soy flour was sold retail to consumers in India. Defatted meal was sold by General Foods of Indore, Prag Ice and Oil, and a company in Kashmir, but apparently they were not widely used. Starting in 1967 some research was done using soy flour (actually soybeans ground with the other grains) in idli, a steamed and fermented sourdough bread or bun typically made with rice and blackgram dal (Steinkraus et al. 1967; Ramakrishnan et al. 1976; see also Chapter 39). Apparently not much happened with soy flour in India from 1976 to the 1980s?? Weaning foods??

Indonesia. In Indonesia soy flour (tepung kedele) appears to be a traditional product, but nothing is known of how it is made or used?? (Winarno et al. 1976:56-57). During the 1960s and 1970s Indonesia was a major recipient of cereal-soy blends. Lie et al. (1968) published a nutritional study of CSM in an Indonesian pediatric journal. In 1974 USDA/ERS (with funds from USAID) supplied a Brady extruder to Bogor Agricultural University (IPB, Institute Pertanian Bogor). Starting in 1976 IPB and CARE-Indonesia began using this Brady to develop and evaluate cereal-soy blends. In 1978 some 185 tonnes of CSB were produced and distributed to farm laborers and their families on a tea estate as a work incentive and wage supplement. The product was well accepted (Jansen and Harper 1979). There would seem to be a great potential for these foods and for soy-fortified breads in Indonesia, which is a large soybean producer and has one of the world's lowest per capita protein intakes.

Japan. Traditionally, all of the soy flour made and used in Japan was roasted soy flour (kinako), as described in Chapter 26. Even though large of amounts of low-fat or defatted soybean meal were imported to Japan starting in the late 1890s, and then produced in Japan after the early 1900s, we know of no records showing that any of these low-cost, protein-rich products were ground to flour for food use. They were used for fertilizer and fodder, since the roasted flour was considered superior as a food.

In 1929 and 1930 William Morse collected every sample he could find (more than 100) of commercial foods containing soy flour, and photographed most of them with a list of ingredients. Most of the lists state specifically that the flour was roasted soy flour; a few simply state "soy flour," but it is likely that these, too, were roasted. However on 21 January 1931 Morse met with Dr. U. Suzuki, Professor of Biological Chemistry at Tokyo Imperial University, and reported in his Log (Dorsett and Morse 1928-31, p. 7003) that "Dr. Suzuki has done much experimental work in the use of soybean flour from the extraction process bean cake or meal. Much of the work has been done in cooperation with Tokyo bakeries. The bakers have not been successful in making a good bread containing more than 20 per cent soybean flour and 80 per cent wheat flour." Nothing is said of results with breads containing less than 20% soy flour.

We know of no other work until the late 1970s, when a good udon (usually wheat flour) noodle came to be made with 15% soy flour and 85% wheat flour.

In 1981 Osaka Gas developed a remarkable new high-technology method for making whole soy flour, called cryogenic crushing. They simply dropped dehulled soybean cotyledons into liquefied natural gas (LNG) at -160*C, which caused them to shatter into minute particles, fine enough to pass through a 500-mesh screen. Also there was none of the usual heating of the oils caused by friction-related grinding or extruding techniques. This flour was found to make good tofu, undistinguishable from that made from whole soybeans, yet higher yielding since no okara was discarded. Little capital investment for equipment was needed to make tofu using this flour.

In 1983 whole soy flour started to become quite popular in Japan based on a patented technological advance by Kokusai Tanpaku. N.I. Foods in Shinjuku, Tokyo, a new company that started in 1982, bought the rights to the patent, in which soybeans are steamed to inactivate lipoxygenase, then subjected to vacuum distillation to remove off flavors. Produced by N.I. Foods inside of the Nisshin Oil Mills, this fine product contains all its natural oils, lecithin, and vitamin E. Its major uses were in chocolate, sausages, and baked goods such as cookies.

Korea. In the mid-1970s the Wonseong County Project (located ?? km east of Seoul) was initiated as a joint venture by the Meals for Millions (MFM) Foundation, the Korean Institute for Science and Technology (KIST), ASI (a leading market research firm), nutritionists from Korea University, and the Korean government. In 1977 KIST, working with MFM, designed and finished building the first low-cost extrusion cooker in Korea and developed an operating procedure for it. It had a capacity of 100 kg/hr. In March 1979 the equipment was installed in the MFM Wonseong County Food plant and dedicated. The 18% protein snack food, containing corn or barley plus 20-25% defatted soy flour as the main ingredients, was incorporated into a feeding program sponsored by the county government (Harper and Jansen 1977; Jansen and Harper 1979; Bray, in Wilson 1979).

Philippines. During the 1970s the Philippines was a major recipient of Food for Peace cereal-soy blends. In May 1977 a Brady low-cost extrusion cooker, on loan from USDA/AID, was installed at the Philippine Women's University BARANGAY Technology Center (BATEK Center), under the direction of Dr. I.S. Pablo. The machine was used, in conjunction with the Philippine Institute of Nutrition, Food Science and Technology (PINFST), but little or no soybeans were used in the trials. In mid-1979 the Philippines Women's University was planning a pilot plant.

A Nutri-bun program of soy-enriched bread was generally accepted by all levels of society. (What is the program?? When start??)

Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has been by far the world's most successful country in developing, producing, distributing, and marketing soy-fortified blended foods, and in using low-cost extrusion cooker systems to make these foods.

A socio-economic survey conducted throughout Sri Lanka in 1969-70 and a Nutritional Status Survey undertaken in 1975-76 revealed that 50% of the population was not getting enough food energy (calories), about 40% lacked sufficient protein, 42% of the country's preschool children had second or third degree malnutrition, and the situation was getting worse (De Mel 1976).

The origin of what is now called the Thriposha Program dates back to March 1972, when CARE (the American international relief organization) in Sri Lanka submitted a pre-plan project proposal for consideration to the Ministry of Planning to develop a nutritional weaning food made exclusively from indigenous foodstuffs, fortified with vitamins and minerals. At this time there was a short supply of dairy products, which eventually led to the termination of CARE's daily primary school milk program. Later in 1972 CARE and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health began plans to (1) provide a high-protein nutritious food supplement to be distributed free of charge to medically identified, nutritionally-at-risk mothers and children, and (2) to investigate commercial marketing of such a product at low cost to the general public.

In 1973 Wheat Soy Blend (WSB) imported to Sri Lanka under the Food for Peace (PL 480, Title II donations) program and distributed by CARE was first repackaged into 750-gm plastic bags (each bearing the now well-known picture of a healthy baby) and sold as Thriposha. The name, pronounced truh-POE-shuh, means "three nutrient groups," namely corn, soy, and milk. It was written on the bag in three languages, which increased local identification and acceptance. In 1974 local cereal grains (sorghum) were first used in Thriposha, being ground, baked in a biscuit, reground, then blended with a total of 4,158 tonnes of imported CSB (WSB?). It was soon decided to use LEC technology to replace the cumbersome baking process. In 1975 USAID (through the auspices of USDA) and CARE donated a Brady #206 low-cost extrusion cooker and ancillary equipment to the Thriposha Project. It arrived in Colombo in December 1975 and, with technical assistance from the LEC program at Colorado State University, was installed at Kundesale, near Kandy.

The new LEC began operation in March 1976. This was the world's first LEC demonstration installation, and the first to make foods consumed by beneficiaries of nutrition programs. Later in 1976 the Brady (plant?) switched from processing locally grown dehulled sorghum to processing locally grown corn (maize) and soybeans. A blend of locally grown corn and soybeans (70:30) was mixed with imported Instant-Corn-Soy-Milk (ICSM) to extend the latter, the repackaged as the "new-formula" Thriposha, in which corn now replaced wheat as the primary ingredient. (Now much was produced??) Use of locally grown corn and soybeans increased rapidly, reaching 1,796 tonnes by 1977 and accounting for 25% of the Thriposha ingredients. The use of soybeans in Thriposha stimulated the growth of Sri Lanka's fledgling soybean production industry.

Justin Jackson of CARE, aware of the many failures of ventures such as this, noted in 1976 (Ref??): "When the Thriposha Program started in Sri Lanka, we knew the odds of success were against us." Yet Thriposha was a success from the outset. It was prized for its nutrition, good flavor, modest price, and its convenience factor. A survey done from late 1975 to early 1976 showed that the product was known to 96% of the households and had been used in 82% of the low-income household. In early 1978 the Market Research Department of Lever Brothers studied consumer reactions to Thriposha. They found that 88% of respondent households indicated willingness to buy Thriposha if it became available commercially. During 1978 a total of 6,350 tonnes of Thriposha was distributed (Thriposha Programme 1977; Goodyear, in Wilson 1979).

As early as mid-1977 it was clear that a new and larger plant would be needed, one located closer to Colombo, the center of distribution and supplies. Funds for the factory and equipment were provided by CARE and USAID. Equipped with two Brady LEC's, this plant began production at Kapuwatte, Ja-Ela, near Colombo, in January 1980. The factory was managed by the Ceylon Tobacco Co. Ltd., a private firm. The total Thriposha Program was managed by CARE/Sri Lanka, which also distributed the product. The world's largest LEC operation, the 7.5 acre (3.0 ha) complex cost Rs. 8 million, and was funded by the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health, CARE, and USAID. In September 1980 the country's Prime Minister officially opened the plant and dedicated it to the "Mothers and Children of Sri Lanka." At that time it was employing 160 workers, who produced 42.5 tonnes of Thriposha a day (2,800 tonnes in 1980). The institutional weaning food was distributed free of charge through health centers to 600,000 infants, children, and pregnant and nursing mothers, and the commercial weaning food, which was introduced in October 1980, was sold in 1-pound (454-gm) packages for Rs. 5.50 at 2,500 retail outlets. Profits from these sales would be used to broaden the services provided by the Ministry of Health and CARE in combatting malnutrition (Soyanews, Oct. 1980).

A detailed analysis of the Ja-Ela operation from 1980-82 was given in LEC Report 11, published at Colorado State University. All fixed assets for the operation, including land, the 1,800-square-meter buildings, equipment ($304,000 including spare parts), and technical services cost $837,000. Add to this $248,000 working capital, for a total of $1,085,000 paid in capital. The plant's average production during 1980 was 1,947 kg of Thriposha per hour, at a total cost of $0.40/kg, but 68% of this cost was (theoretically) the cost of the the imported ICSM (which was actually donated under PL 480 Title II). Thriposha then consisted of 70% imported ICSM (a PL 480 Title II Commodity) and 30% corn-soy blend (70:30). The product contained 19% protein and 377 calories per 100 gm. It was distributed in master bags containing thirty 750-gm packets. By early 1982 average output had increased to 2,723 kg/hr, at a cost of $0.58/kg or $0.26/lb. The commercial product cost 27% more to produce, because of the added cost of the box.

Although Thriposha was produced by CARE, its commercial marketing and sales were handled by Lever Brothers (Ceylon) Ltd. Commercial Thriposha soon became the most successful food of its type in the history of attempts to introduce such products worldwide. By July 1981 roughly 48,000 boxes (each 454 gm) were being sold each month through 2,000 retail outlets in major cities. By mid-1982 commercial sales had stabilized at 30,000 boxes per month (13.6 tonnes/month or 163 tonnes/year).

Almost from the time it started, the Thriposha program was Sri Lanka's largest user of locally grown soybeans. Usage grew from 24 tonnes in 1976, to 218 tonnes in 1978, to 1,152 tonnes in 1980. Projected soybean usage for 1988, when imports of ICSM were scheduled to be stopped, was 3,233 tonnes. The eventual phasing out of imports and new self-sufficiency established by Thriposha will be a real victory, and the fulfilling of a long-pursued goal.

Starting in 1980 the success of Thriposha inspired work on related products and on wider use of soy flour. In mid-1980 the Soyabean Foods Research Center at Gannoruwa purchased an LEC to be used in their pilot plant to do research on corn-soy blends and whole soy flour. They developed a product called Bilinduposha based mainly on rice (49%) and soy flour (30%) that sold for one-fifth the price of imported infant formulas. In February 1981 the Cereal Products Factory at Kundesale concluded successful tests on fortifying rice flour with 5% whole soy flour, which they planned to sell. In October 1981 they introduced corn-soy blend (90:10), which sold well because it was less expensive than wheat, which was then more expensive than usual. In June 1981 Mr. Weerasekara of the Regal Bakery in Matara pioneered the use of soy-fortified bread (3% soy flour), and soy-fortified buns and biscuits (3-10% soy flour). Sales of his products rose since they stayed fresh and soft longer, and were more nutritious. The Rajaratta Food Grains Processing Co. launched its first product, Raja Soya, a multi-purpose soy flour, made by boiling, drying, then grinding soybeans; it was sold in 250 and 50-gm packs.

Soyanews, Sri Lanka's 8-page soyfoods newsletter (see Chapter 71), ran frequent articles about soy flour and soy-fortified blended foods, starting in December 1980 with a long discussion of "What Soya Flour Can Do for You." It described how to make soy flour at home, and use it in Sri Lankan recipes (March 1981), and reported the various commercial developments described above.

Sri Lanka seems to have found that elusive and magic combination of ingredients that has allowed cereal-soy blends and soy flour to realize their potential and serve the people in both donated and commercial products. Total production of Thriposha rose from about 6,300 tonnes in 1978 to 11,000 tonnes in 1982, while the locally made portion of this increased from 1,600 to 4,400 tonnes during that period. There is much that other countries could learn by studying this unique and carefully planned success story.

Taiwan. Interest in (whole/full-fat) soy flour and cereal-soy blends began in the early 1960s. Dr. P.C. Huang and co-workers at the Department of Biochemistry and Pediatrics, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, in conjunction with and funded by UNICEF did extensive infant feeding studies using both toasted and extruded whole soy flours in soy-rice (45:15) blends. They concluded that the formulae could be used safely as the sole food in infant feeding (Huang et al. 1963, 1965, 1967, 1968). Related work was published by DeMaeyer in 1964 and 1965.

By 1983 three companies in Taiwan made whole soy flour (lightly roasted, not extruded) mainly for use by the baking industry. One made a special soy flour for use in making instant soymilk, tofu, or tofu curds. Soy flour was a very minor food in Taiwan, with only 1,200 tonnes a year produced.

Thailand. From 1968 and through the 1970s the Institute of Food Research and Product Development (IFRPD) at Kasetsart University in Bangkok did extensive work in cooperation with USAID in developing high-protein, low-cost weaning foods, such as the Kaset Infant Food. In the process they realized the importance creating local sources of whole (full-fat) soy flour. From 1971 to January 1972 to USAID provided training on soybean processing and extrusion cooking to IFRPD staff, three of whom participated in a training Program in "Soybean Products" at the USDA Northern Regional Research Center at Peoria, Illinois, followed by additional training at Wenger Manufacturing Co., Sabetha, Kansas. In 1972 USAID contributed a Wenger X-25 extruder to IFRPD in Bangkok. In 1973-75 the Australian Government gave assistance to help the Institute set up a baby food project. The project leader was Dr. W.A. Buchanan. By May 1974 a baby food formula was developed to be produced on the X-25. Its main ingredients were 71% rice flour, 12.5% whole soy flour, 15% sugar, plus vitamins, minerals, salt, and methionine. By October 1974 some 50 tonnes had been produced. From 1974 to 1978 roughly 135 tonnes were made annually, most for the Ministry of Public Health, but some for the Dumex Company in Vietnam (1975). After this program was almost terminated, in early 1978, USDA/USAID donated a Brady extruder to IFRPD. Additional work was done extruding rice-soy-fish and rice-soy-sesame (Bhumiratana, in Meyer 1979).

In the mid-1970s the five ASEAN nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand), with financial and technical assistance from Australia, decided to establish a plant to produce whole soy flour. The plant was initiated by the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Protein, whose chairman was Prof. Amara Bhumiratana, Director of IFRPD. The King of Thailand provided the land and the Australian Government (through the ASEAN-Australian Economic Cooperation Programme) donated the equipment. The plant was located in Mae Chan, a small village near Chiang Rai in the far north of Thailand, near the Golden Triangle, famous for its opium poppies. One aim of the project was to encourage hill tribe farmers to grow soybeans instead of opium poppies. . . and to provide them a ready market for their crops. The plant plan started production in April 1978. Using Swiss equipment costing $250,000, it could produce up to 1.1 tonnes/hr of pure white whole soy flour. The heat processing was done by roasting in a fluidized bed debittering system with dry heat at 135*C for 6 minutes. By 1979 the plant was producing 100 tonnes/month of this soy flour. Much of it was being used in Kaset Infant Formula foods consisting of 70.6% rice flour, 12.5% whole soy flour, and 16% white sugar. Produced at the IFRPD, the Formula was supplied to hundreds of baby health centers throughout Thailand. Some flour was also used to make soymilk. In addition, the plant and soy flour was used by other ASEAN nations to do research and development on protein foods.

The success of these projects led to interest in extrusion cooked soy flour to make supplementary foods. In January 1980 an ASEAN workshop on Extruder Technology was held in Bangkok. By mid-1980 Kasetsart University, using the Brady extruder donated by USDA/AID in 1978, had designed and installed an LEC plant at Chiang Rai to manufacture their Kaset baby food, based on rice and soybeans. Known as the DOIKAN Baby Food Factory. Peroduction began in late 1981.

Vietnam. In 1968 Cerny and co-workers published an infant feeding study using a soy flour-based milk. Cereal-soy blends were sent to South Vietnam by the US and from Thailand during the war there, until the US defeat in April 1975.

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7