Friedrich Haberlandt - History of His Work with Soybeans and Soyfoods (1876-2008)
William Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi
Publication Date: 2008 July 25
Number of References in Bibliography: 169
Friedrich Haberlandt (1826-1878): History of His Work with Soybeans and Soyfoods
Professor Friedrich Haberlandt of the University of Vienna awakened Europe to the potential of the soybean and soyfoods and initiated the first extensive soybean cultivation trials. The results of his work appeared in his magnum opus Die Sojabohne ("The Soybean"), published in 1878. His work played a major role in the culture of soybeans in Europe and in stimulating further research on soyfoods nutrition and utilization. Haberlandt's writings contain a surprisingly large amount of material about soyfoods, hitherto never translated into English. Haberlandt predicted that soybeans and soyfoods would play an important role in Western diets, eventually coming to be widely used as a supplement to the carbohydrates of the potato, at least in the diets of the poor, providing an abundance of essential and low-cost protein, fat, and energy.
Biographical Sketch. Gottleib Friedrich Johann Haberlandt was born on 22 February 1826 at Bratislava (called Pressburg in German), a city on the Danube in Slovakia, Czechoslovakia. He studied at the agricultural college in Hungarian-Altenburg, where he was active from 1851-53 as assistant professor and from 1853-69 as professor. In 1860 he published his first important work, The Most Important Plants and Weeds Classified by Where They Grow. On the basis of his work with silkworm diseases he was invited in 1869 to be director of the newly established sericulture (the production of raw silk by raising silkworms) research station at Goerz. In 1871 he published Mulberry Silkworms: Their Rearing and Diseases. In 1872 he was invited to be professor of agronomy and applied botany at the newly established Royal College of Agriculture in Vienna (Wiener Hochschule fuer Bodenkultur). From 1873-74, as Chancellor, Haberlandt was one of the most distinguished followers of the school of Justus Liebig, who established the close association of theory and practice as the basis of agronomy. Haberlandt's areas of specialization included research on seed germination and transpiration in cultivated plants, the promotion of agricultural seed exchanges, and studies in soil science. In 1875 and 1877 he published "Scientific and Practical Research on Plant Cultivation." The last years of his life were devoted to the promotion of soybean cultivation in Austria and Germany. Haberlandt died on 1 May 1878.