History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Germany (1712-2016), 2nd ed.

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-928914-87-7

Publication Date: 2016 July 1

Number of References in Bibliography: 4029

Earliest Reference: 1712

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Special thanks to Armin Wendel of Germany.
More than any other person, Armin has transformed the 2nd edition of this book. When he received an alert that Soyinfo Center had published a book on the History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Germany, he contacted us (in July 2015) and offered to help improve our book. First, he is responsible for 270 documents being in this book that would probably not be there without him. And he provided a treasure trove of beautiful and often rare photographs. He wrote excellent unpublished biographies (in German) of all the most important figures in the history of soy and phospholipids in Germany and cited his sources. He gave Soyinfo Center permission to have his biographies translated into English (by a professional translator) and published in this book. For the past year Armin has sent us (via hundreds of e-mails) a wealth of materials on the history of soy and of lecithin/phospholipids in Germany, and answered countless questions.
      Armin is one of the world’s foremost authorities on lecithin and other phospholipids; through this he has learned a great deal about soybeans, especially in Germany.
      To Armin our deepest thanks for his mastery, his kindness, generosity and patience – and for transforming this book.
Brief chronology/timeline of soy in Germany
Of all the European countries, from earliest times to the present, Germany has been the most active in using soybeans and soyfoods. Companies started making traditional, low-tech soyfoods such as tofu in Germany about 5-7 years after their counterparts in the United States.
1712 – A turning point in the history of soybeans and soyfoods comes in 1712, when the German naturalist and traveler Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716), a native of Westphalia, publishes his large and famous book Amoenitatum Exoticarum Politico-Physico-Medicarum [Exotic Novelties, Political, Physical, Medical]. This book, in Latin, gives the earliest known European (or German) description of the soybean plant (accompanied by a good illustration), first shows that soyfoods (shoyu and miso) are made from soybeans, gives the earliest known descriptions of how shoyu and miso are made in Japan, and is the earliest to mention koji (which he calls koos), even though he does not understand what koji is, how it functions, or how it is made (See vol. 5, p. 834-35).
      Kaempfer lived in Japan from Sept. 1690 to Nov. 1692 as a physician for the Dutch East India Company at Deshima, a man-made island in Nagasaki harbor, the only Japanese port then open to European ships.
1727The History of Japan,… by Engelbert Kaempfer, is published posthumously in English. The section titled Gokokf [Goku-fu] ("five grains," p. 121-22) states that one of these is soybeans [Daidsu or Daidbeans] which “is a certain sort of Beans, about the bigness of Turkish Pease, growing after the manner of Lupins. They are next to the Rice in use and esteem. Of the Meal of these Beans is made what they call Midsu [miso], a mealy Pap, which they dress their Victuals withal, as we do with Butter. What they call Soeju [shoyu = soy sauce], is also made of it, which is a sort of an Embamma, as they call it, which they eat at meals to get a good Stomach [appetite]. This Soeju is exported by the Dutch, and brought even into Holland. I have describ'd their way of making it in my Amoenitates Exoticae. p. 839. where the Plant it self bearing these Beans is figur'd and describ'd.”
      This is the earliest English-language publication seen which states that soyfoods (shoyu and miso) are made from soybeans, or that mentions miso.
1794 – In Germany, Konrad Mönch [Moench], a German botanist from Marburg, reports (in Latin) that soybeans are growing in the botanical garden at Marburg. This is the earliest document seen concerning soybeans in Germany, or the cultivation of soybeans in Germany. Mönch, who coined the genus name Soia and the species name hispida, referred to the soybean as Soia hispida. Previously it has been known by the name Linnaeus coined, Dolichos soja.
1809 – Carl L. Willdenow reports that the soybean (Dolichos Soja) is growing in the royal botanical garden of Berlin.
1829 – Schrank and Martinus report that the soybean (Soja Moench; Dolichos Soja) is growing in the royal botanical garden in Munich (p. 135).
1845 – Siebold and Zuccarini, in a German-language article on the flora of Japan, give the soybean its present genus name, Glycine, and the wild soybean its present full scientific name, Glycine soja.
1856 – In the Netherlands, Siebold & Comp. in Leyden publishes the first seed catalog in the Western world which offers soybeans for sale (p. 18). The catalog is written entirely in French. Philipp Franz von Siebold, a German physician, botanist and traveler, lived in Japan from 1823 to 1829 – mainly at Deshima.
1872 – Otto Wehrhan cultivates soybeans on his estate in Coswig near Meissen – in today’s eastern Germany (Haberland, F. 1878. Die Sojabohne. p. 5).
1874 – H. Ritter, a German living in Japan, writes an article (in German) titled “Tofu, Yuba, Ame,” in which he gives an early, accurate descriptions of how these foods are made. He calls tofu Bohnenkäse (“bean cheese”). This is the earliest German-language document seen that contains a description of tofu by a German living in Japan or East Asia, or that mentions okara, which it calls Der Pressrückstand (“the residue of pressing”), or that refers to soymilk as Die filtrirte Flüssigkei (“the filtered liquid”).
1874 – J.J. Hoffman, a German professor of medicine at Tokyo University, writes (in German) “On the preparation of shoyu, sake and mirin,” and thus becomes the first Westerner to make a scientific study of the shoyu process. This is the earliest document seen that describes how to make shoyu on a commercial scale.
1879 March – Prof. R. Braungart in Weihenstephan (near Munich) and Lehmann in Munich, receive soybeans (from several sources) which they plant in Germany. These are among the first soybeans cultivated in Germany (Wein 1881).
1880 – Oskar J. Kellner, a brilliant German scientist, is invited at age 29, to the Imperial University of Tokyo as a professor of agricultural chemistry. He stayed in Japan for 12 years, married a Japanese woman, and left a strong mark on the foundations of agricultural chemistry in Japan.
      A prolific writer, he publishes (in German) many important articles that mention soy. In 1884 he notes that Japanese rice fields are fertilized with cooked soybeans. In 1886 he conducts feeding trials with sheep in which they are fed soybean hay and seeds. In 1887, in “Contributions to an understanding of the nutrition of Japanese,” he discusses miso, shoyu, tofu, soybeans and koji.
      In March 1889, he writes an English language article titled “Tofu cakes,” published in the Bulletin of the College of Agriculture, Tokyo Imperial University. This article is mainly about okara and its uses. In a description of how tofu is made he writes: “The portion left undissolved of the beans, called tofu kasu [okara] is chiefly used as food for domestic animals, but sometimes also consumed by the poorer classes or used as manure.” He gives a detailed analysis of the nutritional value of okara, noting that “the dry matter is still rich in protein (26.7%) and fat (10.3%).” This is the earliest English-language document seen that uses the term kasu or tofu kasu to refer to okara. It is also the earliest document seen stating that okara is fed to "hogs" or "domestic animals."
      This is followed by two more extremely important articles in the same bulletin in 1889 in English: “Researches on the manufacture, composition, and properties of ‘koji’" (July) and “Researches on the manufacture and composition of ‘miso’" (December). Kellner is the first Westerner to have a clear, deep understanding of both koji and miso.
1888 – Hellriegel and Wilfarth in Germany show that legumes fix nitrogen from the air when nodulated by specific bacteria present in the soil and contained in nodules on the plant roots. In 1893 W.P. Brooks of the Massachusetts (Hatch) experiment station demonstrates, in a classic experiment, that soybean yields are highest when root tubercules (nodules) are most abundant.
1896 Feb. – Nitragin, the world’s first commercial legume or soybean inoculant (a pure culture of nitrogen-fixing bacteria) has been developed by and is now available from Messrs. Hellriegel, Wilfarth, and Prof. Nobbe of Tharland, Saxony (Voelcker 1896). Initially, farmers had considerable difficulty making the product work as advertised. By 1903, because the failures from using Nitragin greatly outnumbered the successes, its manufacture has been discontinued (Moore 1903).
      In 1898 Nitragin is registered as a trademark in the United States (No. 32,212). By 1912 in Germany alone, there are nearly a million acres of legumes inoculated with nitrogen-gathering “Nitragin” germs. By 1913 the company has established an office in the USA.
1898 – Haage & Schmidt, a German seed company with headquarters in Erfurt, is now selling soybeans (Fruwirth 1878). But in 1900 they first offer soybeans in their catalog (Haupt-Verzeichniss ueber Samen und Pflanzen).
1902 – Hydrogenation is first patented by the German inventor Wilhelm Normann in 1902 in Germany and in 1903 in Great Britain. In 1911, after considerable developmental work, Procter & Gamble (P&G) launches Crisco, the world's first vegetable shortening. The name is an abbreviation of the words "crystallized cottonseed oil." The company has the wisdom to market Crisco as a new vegetable product, not as a lard substitute, and the absence of any animal fat is featured in its extensive and persistent nationwide advertising.
1907 – Hermann Bollmann returns to Hamburg, Germany, after years in Canton and Hong Kong (where he was a successful importer and exporter, and where he first became acquainted with soybeans). In October he applies as a businessman for his own commercial enterprise which is registered in the Commercial Register on October 19. Bollmann begins with the development and sales of new equipment and processes obtaining vegetable oil, in particular from the soybean (Armin Wendel. 1999. Biography of Hermann Bollmann. 11 pp. Unpublished).
1907Tanzania (German East Africa until 1946). Soybeans are first cultivated.
1908 – The first official statistics on exports of soybeans and soy products from Manchuria to Europe are given (in metric tons)
      Great Britain 69,200
      France 21,390
      Holland 7,290
      Italy 4,140
      Belgium 1,760
      Germany 670
      Russian ports on the Pacific [such as Vladivostok] (for reexport to Europe, primarily to England it seems) 100,000.
      Total: 204,440 tonnes.
      Germany imports only 670 metric tons – probably all or mostly soybean cake because of the high tariff on imported soybeans. The German trading houses are Otto Riemers and Arnhold Karberg (Brenier 1910, p. 115).
      In 1908, the United Kingdom had been the first European country to import soybeans from East Asia. Mitsui Trading Co. of Japan was the pioneer importer.
1909 – By June, Soybeans are first imported into Germany on a commercial scale (Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter. 1909. June 21, p. 7-8).
1910 March – Germany removes it duty on soybeans so they can now be imported duty-free. (Teichmann, William C. 1911. "Soya-bean industry in Germany." Daily Consular and Trade Reports {U.S. Bureau of Manufactures, Department of Commerce and Labor}. May 13. p. 680-81).
1910 April – Sarton Soy Flour is launched by Bayer & Co. in Eberfeld, Germany, as a new food for diabetics (C. von Noorden & Lampé 1910). This is the earliest known commercial soy product made in Germany for human consumption.
1910 Dec. –Thörls Vereinigte Oelfabriken in Harburg, Germany is crushing soybeans by this date, and perhaps several months earlier. And a new factory to crush soybeans is under construction at Stettin [which at that time was part of Germany] (Chemische Industrie {Berlin}. 1910, Dec. 15. p. 792).
1910 – Germany increases its soybean imports from East Asia (mainly Manchuria) and uses them as a source of vegetable oil and protein-rich meal. From January to October 1910, 28,110 tonnes (metric tons) of soybeans are imported. The processing of the beans into oil and cake takes place in Hamburg oil factories, for example Thörls Vereinigte Oelfabriken A.-G. in Harburg (Farben-Zeitung April 23, p. 1329; Chemische Industrie Dec. 15, p. 792).
1910 – The Stettiner Oelwerke AG is founded in Stettin (a city which now lies in Poland) on the west bank of the Oder River in northeastern Germany. Stettiner Oelwerke, the main factory of the first group of soybean processors, introduced the soybean to Germany with many valuable products, both feeds and foods. The East Asiatic Company (Oestasiatiske Kompagni, EAC) is the principal shareholder (Westphall 1972, p. 206-07). In 1911 Stettiner Oelwerke is the first oil mill to undertake the processing of soybeans using the solvent extraction process (batch system) (A. von Wissel & H. Thiem. 1983. Brief early history of soybean processing in Germany:... Unpublished). In 1915 the Stettiner Oelwerke bought the site in Hamburg now occupied by Toeppfer's Oelwerke, and the two firms have subsequently specialized in the processing of soybeans for the East Asiatic Co. The English branch of the parent company is named East Asiatic Co. Ltd., with offices in London" (Goss 1947, p. 62-65).
1910 – Brinkmann & Mergell [Brinckmann & Mergell] start processing soybeans in Hamburg. (Source: Harburger Oelwerke Brinkmann & Mergell, Band 15 der Veröffentlichungen der wirtschaftsgeschichtlichen Forschungsgesellschaft e.V., Hamburg 1956).
1911-1912 – In 1911, Hamburg imported 32,700 metric tons of soybeans, increasing to 49,060 metric tons in 1912 (Der Kolonist {Argentina} Feb. 1914).
1913 Dec.Aguman, a remarkably inexpensive high-protein whole soy flour, is launched by the Agumawerke, part of Thörlschen Vereinigte Oelwerken A.G. of Harburg, near Hamburg. By late 1913 Auguman is joined by Aguma and Vaterland soy flours, and Sojawurze (HVP made from hydrolyzed soybean meal) from the same company (which had been founded in 1883). These products are made under the supervision of a soybean specialist named Ehrhorn (Horvah 1927). Sojawurze is a competitor of Maggi seasoning cubes from Nestle in Switzerland.
1913 – Thörl’s is processing soybeans using benzine as a solvent as early as 1913 (Horvath 1938, p. 73). This solvent enabled the company to make a good-tasting and inexpensive soy flour; Aguma, which was introduced by Oct. 1913 (Allgemeine Medizinische Central-Zeitung. 1913. Oct. 11, p. 483-86).
1914 Jan. 2 – Fermented black soybeans are first mentioned in German, by Clemens Grimme. They are called Tao-tche, but are confused with Japanese natto.
1914 – Hermann Bollmann builds his first soybean processing plant. His first employees include Dr. Bruno Rewald (laboratory) and Dr. Adolf Schneider (assistant and secretary). But soon World War I breaks out – a catastrophe for the young company. Instead of soybeans, beechnuts and heather have to be pressed into oil. In May 1915 Bollmann is drafted into military service and has to shut down the operation (Wendel. 1999. Biography of Hermann Bollmann. Unpublished. Bollmann kept two notebooks {1935}, partial transcriptions of which survive. On pages 24-25 of notebook 1, Bollmann says he started processing soybeans – probably on a small scale and for a short time – in 1914, before he was conscripted into the German military in May 1915).
1914 Aug. – World War I begins, introducing modern warfare. The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand precipitated the war in July 1914. Germany is a key adversary. In countries around the word, this war catapults the soybean into prominence, as a source of edible protein and vegetable oil, and of nitroglycerine (a powerful explosive).
1914Back-Soyama and Dr. Gössel's Kraft-Mehl, two new soy flours, are launched by Soyamawerke Englehardt und Co. of Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Also in 1914 the same company introduces Germany’s first commercial soymilk, Soyama Soymilk (Regular Fresh, for Diabetics, for Baking). At about the same time (and certainly no later than 1917) the company launches Dried Soymilk, Fresh Soy Cream, and Dried Soy Cream (J.C. Friedrich 1914, p. 627; Fürstenberg 1917, p. 7, 32-33).
1916 July – Hermann Bollmann is discharged from the military as a result of a renewed attack of malaria. But he is no longer financially in a position to make use of his inventions with his own means, so he has to search for partners. For that reason, on 16 July 1916 he founds Hansa Mühle GmbH Hamburg (Hanseatic Mill Ltd.; Hansa Mühle). He becomes managing director there, even though he has not given up the company that he had registered in 1907. Hansa Mühle builds its first larger plant on its property on Wendenstrasse in Hamburg (Wendel. 1999. Biography of Hermann Bollmann).
      Also in Sept. 1916 Bollmann applies for his first patent, German Patent 303,846 titled Counter-current process for the graduated dissolution of fats and oils from raw materials. Although soybeans are not mentioned, they are implied.
      In 1917 Bollmann applies for his first patent that specifically mentions soybeans, British Patent 142,764, titled “Improvements in or relating to the manufacture of foodstuffs.” Example 1 involves the solvent extraction of 100 kg soybeans, with a mixture of 120 kg. benzole and 80 kg. alcohol (of 96 vol. per cent).
1918 Nov. 11 – World War I ends as Germany signs the armistice. The Allies or Triple Entente win; Germany or the Central Powers lose. There are over 16 million deaths and 20 million wounded ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.
1921 Jan. 21 – Ladislaus Berczeller, PhD, of Vienna, Austria-Hungary, is issued a German patent (No. 406,170) for making soy flour. His new product is the subject of a long article titled “'Manna' for the hungry” in the Times (London) (Sept. 28).
1921A Treatise on the Transformation of the Intestinal Flora with Special Reference to the Implantation of Bacillus acidophilus, by Leo F. Rettger and Harry A. Cheplin is published by Yale University Press (v + 135 p.). Rettger is a professor of bacteriology at Yale. This classic work shows that beneficial bacteria, such as Bacterium acidophilus, can be successfully established in the human intestine by oral administration. It also contains a good history of the subject. The excellent bibliography of 174 references shows that much of the research in this emerging field has been conducted in Germany. It later leads to the field of probiotics.
1924 – During the 20 years following World War II the widely-used Bollmann paternoster continuous vertical counter-current solvent extraction system is developed. We do not know when the first system was sold but in 1924 the first one was sold to an American firm, The Eastern Cotton Oil Co. of Norfolk, Virginia. The extractor was said to have a capacity of 80 tons/day of soybeans. Unfortunately the company was not in business for long (ZZZ).
1924-1926 – Statistics show Hansa Mühle’s output (in metric tons):
      Soybeans processed increases from 6,277 in 1924 to 17,385 in 1926.
      Soybean lecithin manufactured increases from 50 in 1924 to 139 in 1936. This was the world’s earliest known commercial soy lecithin.
      Soy oil produced increases from 1,200 in 1924 to 3,477 in 1926.
      By the end of 1926 Hansa Mühle (Bollmann and Rewald) have already applied for 30 main and subsidiary patents, mostly related to soybean processing and soy lecithin (Wendel. 1999. Biography of Hermann Bollmann. Unpublished).
1925 Jan. – In an article on “Plant phosphatides” published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (p. 759-66), Levene and Rolf write: "Through the courtesy of Dr. H. Bollmann of the Hanseatische Mühlenwerke [Hansa Mühle in Hamburg, Germany] a considerable quantity of commercial lecithin obtained from soy beans was placed at our disposal.” This commercial lecithin was probably received by 1924.
1927 July 17 – Bruno Rewald (with Hermann Bollmann) applies for his first patent (German Patent 514,399) involving both lecithin and soybeans. He would eventually apply for 35 patents involving both lecithin and soybeans.
1927 – Lene Müller, a German woman, PhD, and soybean breeder, working for the I.G. Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft Ludwigshafen am Rhein, starts soybean trials on a small area with about 20 varieties (Müller 1930, p. 277).
1928 Oct – Dr. Laszlo/Ladislaus Berczeller of Austria launches Edelsoja, a new and superior type of whole soy flour (Sprung 1928). In about 1931 he introduces Edelsoja Vollsojamehl into Germany (Horvath 1931). In 1936 The Little Edelsoja Cookbook (Das kleine Edelsoja-Kochbuch) is published in Berlin by Neue Edelsoja Gesellschaft m.b.h. This new company was apparently seized (not purchased) from Dr. Berczeller, a Jew. The new company was active during World War II applying for and being issued German patents, none of which mentioned Dr. Berczeller.
1929 Feb. 22 – The application for the first Hildebrandt continuous vertical counter-current solvent extractor is filed by Karl Hildebrandt, the inventor, of Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg, Germany. German Patent 528,287 was issued on 27 June 1931. This extractor then began to compete with the Bollmann paternoster extractor. We do not know when the first Hildebrandt extractor was sold but in 1924 two were sold to American firms – Archer-Daniels- Midland Co. (ADM), and The Glidden Co., both in Chicago.
      ADM purchased from Germany a 100-tons-per-day capacity Hildebrandt counter-current solvent extractor in 1934 as part of an expansion of its Chicago soybean crushing plant. The unit began operation in March 1934.
      Glidden purchased from Germany a 150-tons-per day capacity Hildebrandt continuous-flow, counter-current (U-tube) hexane solvent extractor. It was installed in Chicago and began operation in about Nov. 1934. Unfortunately the plant exploded on 7 Oct. 1935, leveling a city block. 11 men were killed and 45 others were injured. The damage was estimated at more than $600,000. The cause of the blast at 1845 North Laramie Ave. was never determined.
1930 June 30 – Hermann Bollmann finally and conclusively leaves Hansa Mühle after differences with the board of directors. He tries to start again but is blocked by his own patents. On 25 Feb. 1935 he dies at the Berlin Patent office at age 54 (Wendell. 1999. Biography of Hermann Bollmann).
1930 Oct. – Dr. Lene Müller is now in Manchuria where she has been sent to study soybeans and collect varieties that might grow well under German conditions. She and William Morse meet accidentally and ride together on a train from Kaiyuan to Mukden to talk soybeans (Dorsett and Morse. 1930. Aug. 15. Log of the Dorsett-Morse Expedition, p. 6047).
1931 – The estimated yearly requirements (in long tons of 2,000 lb each) of major German oil mills. In descending order of capacity is:
(1) F. Thörl's Oelfabriken, Harburg-Elbe, 246,000.
(2) Hansa Mühle, Hamburg, 197,000.
(3) Stettiner Oelwerke A.G., incl. Toepfer's Oelwerke GmbH, 197,000.
(4) Noblee & Thörl, Harburg-Elbe, 148,000.
(5) Brinckman & Mergell, Harburg-Elbe, 128,000.
(6) Henke & cie., C. Thywissen, Norddeutsche Oelwerke A.G., and P.J. Stahlberg, 118,000.
Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Foodstuffs Div., 1932.
1932 Dec. 31 – Bruno Rewald applies for his last German Patent (No. 617,732). Thereafter he is forced by the Nazi regime to live outside of Germany, where he actively continues his research and publication on lecithin until his death on 3 Oct. 1947 at age 65 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1933 – The Germans are now the world’s largest soybean importers, buying most of their soybeans from Manchuria. But as early as 1933 the Germans realize that dependence on Manchurian soya, which is almost entirely brought by sea to German ports, would be dangerous in time of war and that reliance on Trans-Siberian railway consignments, even assuming Russia to be friendly, would also be precarious. For this reason as soon as Hitler comes to power the Germans take steps to develop the production of soybeans in Romania and other Balkan countries. The large chemical group I.G. Farben Industrie [the German Dye Trust], with the full support and encouragement of the Reich Government, begins preparations in 1933 to promote the cultivation of soybeans in Romania. Thousands of tons of seed are taken into the country. In 1934 a Romanian company, the Soja S.A.R., is incorporated in Bucharest (the capital of Romania) with German capital for producing and trading in the beans. The company provides Romanian peasants with seed and bacteria; it makes the necessary advances against future delivery; and it looks after technical instruction in soya cultivation. Its activities reach into almost every village in those districts where production was possible (The Times, London, 1940, April 23, p. 7-8).
1934 – The I.G. Farbenindustrie A.G. undertakes large-scale soybean trials (ca. 1,400 ha) with the farmers of German groups in Siebenbürgen and Bessarabia, in Romania (Interessengemeinschaft Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft 1938).
1934 – “Shortly after Hitler came to power in Germany, however, something very significant happened. The huge and powerful I.G. Farben-trust, a company which controls most of the chemical industry in Germany and was interconnected with most of the chemical industry all over the world, acquired the license of the Berczeller patents for Germany, Austria and possibly some other countries. Nobody seemed to pay any particular attention at that time, or to realize what this meant.
      “It meant simply and plainly that Hitler was preparing for war, and was getting ready on the food front as well as on all other fronts” (Prinz. 1944. Soybean Digest. March, p. 4).
1936 – A company named Neue Edelsoja-Gesellschaft m.b.h. (New Edelsoja Ltd.) exists as early as 1936 and perhaps as early as 1934 – when it applies for German Patent No. 697,424 and the inventor (probably Dr. Berczeller) asks not to be named.
1937 – Central Soya Co. in Decatur, Indiana, is now operating the first Hansa Mühle solvent extraction plant in the United States (Central Soya Annual Report for the year ended August 31, 1959).
1938 – The German Army High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) publishes a 71-page book titled Formulation of Menus Using Edelsoja, with Recipes/Cooking instructions (Speisenzusammenstellung unter Mitverwendung von Edelsoja mit Kochanweisungen). Edelsoja whole soy flour will play an important part in the diet of Nazi soldiers during World War II, as a source of protein, oil and calories, as in breads, biscuits, sausages, and soups.
      In 1941 the entire book is translated into English by H.V. Johnson of the USDA Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations.
1940 April 23The Times (London) publishes a major article titled “A vital German supply: The magic bean. Soya food for man and beast.” It states: "A substitute for meat: As for the food aspect, one of the greatest weaknesses of Germany is the relative lack of foodstuffs of animal origin (meat, milk, eggs). The Germans are facing this weakness by developing from the soya a flour called Edelsoja, which, because of its high content of good proteins (40 to 45 per cent.) and of fats and carbohydrates, can completely replace meat or the other animal foodstuffs.”
      Note: By this time, it seems clear that Berczeller had lost control of his company and his Edelsoja whole soy flour.
1936-1945 – Shortly before and during World War II the Germans cultivate and import large amounts of soybeans from Eastern Europe, mainly from Romania (Annales de Geographie 1941, p. 222), but also from Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Greece. Much of this is organized by I.G. Farbenindustrie.
      In Romania, for example, the area planted to soybeans increased from 1,500 ha in 1934, to 111,100 ha in 1937, to a peak of 136,900 ha in 1940. Thereafter it decreased dramatically, to only 25,000 ha in 1941, increasing gradually to 62,000 ha in 1944 (Drews 2004, p. 250).
      The soybean is extremely important to the Germans throughout the war as a source of oil and protein (Drews, J. 2004. Die ‘Nazi Bohne’: Anbau, verwendung und Auswirkung der Sojabohne im Deutschen Reich und Suedosteuropa (1933-1945)) (LIT Verlag, 332 pp.)
1941 – Hensel-Werke of Stuttgart-Cannstatt and of Magstadt (Wurtemberg) has launched a commercial soyfood (Balzli, Sept. 1941, p. 187-93).
1945 May 8 – World War II ends in Europe with “V-E Day,” as the allies formally accept the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany. After the war, Germany is divided into two countries: East and West Germany. The following history pertains only to events in West Germany.
1947 Nov.The German Oilseed Industry, by Warren H. Goss is published. This excellent book, based on field visits in the summer of 1945, as he followed the conquering Allies into Germany, gives a deep insight into the German oilseed industry at the time of World War II and the degree of destruction visited upon each of the major crushing plants during World War II. Oilseed crushing did not resume in Germany until 1949.
      Goss, an expert on soybean processing, is in Europe, under the sponsorship of the Subcommittee of Food and Agriculture of the Technical Industrial Intelligence Committee.
      One major question was: How do the Germans prevent rapid deterioration of the flavor of soy oil? (often called “flavor reversion”). Several answers were found: (1) Removal of lecithin. (2) Use of solvent extraction instead of expeller-pressing. (3) Addition of citric acid (a metal scavenger) and avoidance of contact with certain prooxidant metals (such as iron or copper).
      These crucial clues enabled Dr. Herbert Dutton and co-workers of the Northern Regional Research Laboratory (Peoria, Illinois), in the late 1940s and 1950s to transform soy oil into the leading vegetable oil in the United States.
      At one plant in Hamburg Goss found: “The Hildebrandt plants operated on Manchurian beans as long as they were available and then processed the European crop until the factories were destroyed in November, 1944. The European beans came from Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the Ukraine. The total production was about 60,000 tons per year, practically all of which was used for manufacturing edible flour. The flour was all sold to the army.”
1955 Nov. 14 – Dr. Laszlo Berczeller, inventor of Edelsoja whole soy flour, dies alone, unknown and in misery at the Saint-Maurice Mental Hospital in Switzerland. He is buried free of charge (for 5 years only) in the hospital’s graveyard.
1955 – Henselwerk GmbH (of Magstadt bei Stuttgart) is now involved with making a non-dairy infant formula.
1956 Feb. – The earliest known document concerning the company Lucas Meyer GmbH is an agreement between two companies. The first, Firma Lucas Meyer, is owned by Lucas Meyer (Sr.), the founder of Lucas Meyer GmbH. The second is jointly owned by Lucas Meyer (Jr.), his son, and his daughter-in-law (son's wife).
      Lucas Meyer does not make lecithin and never did. They buy it from nearby oil mills for further processing and resale (Eichberg 1982, 1983).
1958 – DE-VAU-GU Gesundkostwerk GmbH, a Seventh-day Adventist company in Lueneberg (near Hamburg), launches its first commercial soy product, Granovita Phag-Schnitten [Granovita Cutlets]. The company’s 2nd soy product was GranoVita Soja Würstchen (Sausages), launched in 1968. By 1977 it offered a line of 8 GranoVita soy products, including an instant soymilk.
      The factory was founded in 1899 at Friedensau, near Magdeburg (Neufeld 1976).
1958 – The Soybean Council of America begins to operate in West Germany when an agreement is reached with the German Oil Seed Crushers Association to conduct promotional activities for soybeans and soybean products. In Nov. 1960 Dr. Karl W. Fangauf is employed by the Council and in Feb. 1961 an office is opened in Hamburg, headed by Dr. Fangauf.
      The Council wants to sell soybeans or soybean products (soy oil and soybean meal) to Germany. As soon as Germany rebuilds its oilseed crushing plants that had been destroyed during World War II, the country wants to import soybeans to crush in those plants. Soybean imports from the USA increase dramatically. Germany is located too far north to grow all or even most of the soybeans it needs (Fangauf 1964, 1983).
1963 April – Henselwerk in Magstadt is now making Soyakraft (a powdered infant formula) and a whole soy flour (Vollsojamehl) (Honma et al. p. 705-10).
1973 June – Lucas Meyer GmbH & Co. launches their earliest known commercial soy products, three types of soy protein isolates, each with the brand Soyamin. The company is located at Ausschläger Elbdeich 62, 2000 Hamburg 28, West Germany (LM Technical Bulletin NE 5).
      The same year a company named Edelsoja GmbH, at the exact same address, issues a portfolio with 4 inserts. The inside front cover states that Edelsoja GmbH has been processing soybeans for more than 40 years (i.e. since before 1935). “It is one of the oldest and most experienced fullsoy protein manufacturers.” One major product is Soypur, which is "a finely ground full-soy protein [whole soy flour] from which the bitterness has been removed by the special Edelsoja process.”
      In a letter dated 19 Jan. 1982, a reply to questions from Shurtleff, Karl-Otto Tielker of Edelsoja GmbH states: “We regret to inform you that we don't know anything about Dr. Berczeller. As stated in our brochure, the company Edelsoja was taken over by Oelmuehle Hamburg AG and Lucas Meyer in 1973 from Mr. Walter Klein, who ran the Edelsoja for over forty years. According to our records Dr. Hans Weiss founded the company in 1932 in Berlin. On receipt of your letter we tried to get a copy of the register of commerce with details of the foundation. However, the authorities now informed us that the document of foundation cannot be traced. Mr. Walter Klein, who would certainly have known details, died in 1981.”
1973 Nov. 11-14 – The first World Soy Protein Conference, sponsored primarily by the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the US Foreign Agricultural Service, is held in Munich, Germany. Prompted by the rapid rise in popularity of modern soy protein products in the USA, it attracts 1,100 delegates from 45 countries and greatly stimulates interest in soy protein foods, especially textured soy protein products, isolates, and concentrates. Introduced to Germany from the US in the 1960s, these products steadily expanded in use, largely as meat extenders.
1978 – Bruno Fischer GmbH, owned by a Seventh-day Adventist family, launches their first soy product. WieLeberwurst (Meatless Liverwurst).
1979 – Swami Anand Svadesha (Rüdiger Urban) starts Germany’s earliest known tofu shop, named Svadesha Pflanzenkost-Feinkost, in Einweging, West Germany, which is in central eastern Bavaria near the border with Czechoslovakia. He is a follower of the Indian guru Sri Rajneesh. His first three products are tofu, herb tofu, and okara burgers.
1980 July – The first book about miso in German, Das Miso-Buch, by Shurtleff and Aoyagi, is published by Ahorn Verlag in Soyen, West Germany.
      In Oct. 1988 a pocketbook edition is published by Goldmann Verlag in Munich.
1980 July – The first book about tofu in German, Das Tofu-Buch, by Shurtleff and Aoyagi, is published by Ahorn Verlag in Soyen, West Germany.
      In June 1988 a pocketbook edition is published by Goldmann Verlag in Munich.
1982 March – Auenland Tofu und Soja Produkte (in Prien-Chiemsee) launches 7 soy products on the day it opened: Tofu Pizza, Tofu Apple Tart, Tofunafish Salad, Tofu Mayonnaise, Tofu Burger, Auenland Tofu, and Baked Tofu Sandwich. The founders are Peter and Elgard Wiegand, who had learned how to make tofu during 6 months at Wildwood Natural Foods in Fairfax, California.
1982 July – The earliest known commercial tempeh made in Germany is probably made by Alexander Nabben in Munich; the documentation on this is weak. Next, in Sept. 1984, is Byodo Naturkost, also in Munich.
1982 July – Tofuhaus Belsen launches their first soy product, Traditional Tofu (Traditionelle Tofu). In 1983 they introduce two flavors of tofu spread (smoked and rustic). On 1 Jan. 1984 the company is renamed Yamato Tofuhaus Sojaprodukte GmbH.
1982 Nov. – A small company named Thomas Karas und Ingeborg Taschen (of Siegburg) launches its first soy product, Soyastern Tofu. In Oct. 1984, the company now named Debrecini-Drosihn-Karas, introduces the Soyastern Tofu-Burger. That year, producing about 2,000 kg/week of tofu, they are probably Germany’s largest tofu maker. In Dec. 1985 the company is renamed Soyastern Naturkost GmbH.
1983 July – Albert Hess Tofuhaus Rittersheim launches its first soy products, Organic Tofu (curded with nigari), and two tofu sandwich spreads (Tofu-Brotaufstrich) in flavors Paprika and Herbs & Garlic (Paprika, Kraeuter-Knoblauch). Rittersheim is in west central Germany. In September it introduces a meat alternative, Tofu Meatless Slices (Tofu-Bratschnitte).
1984 March – The American Soybean Association in Brussels, Belgium, starts to publish Soya Foods, a monthly newsletter in four languages. The first issue is 8 pages long, and includes a “Soya Foods Interview.”
1984 May – Tofukost-Werk TKW GmbH (in Wadersloh-Diestedde) launches its first soy product, tofu. By Nov. 1987 they are making about 3,500 kg/week of tofu. They do not sell to the natural foods market.
1984 Sept. 27-28 – The American Soybean Association (Brussels) organizes and hosts the First European Soyfoods Workshop, and immediately publishes the proceedings (9 papers). A directory includes company name, person's name, and address for the conference's 105 participants.
1984 Aug. – Christian Nagel Tofumanufaktur (in Hamburg) introduces its first product, natural organic nigari tofu (Tofu Natur). The company is founded by Christian Nagel.
1985 July – Life Food (of Freiburg), started by Klaus Kempff, launches its first soy product, Tofu. By Nov. 1985-1987 they have started using Taifun as a brand name. By March 1995 Life Food GmbH is the largest tofu maker in Germany (Drosihn 1995).
1985 – Drug-containing liposomes (tiny hollow spheres made of lecithin) are injected, with a target, into 12 human patients by Lopez-Bereinstein – with very promising results (Lasic 1996, p. 8).
1986 April 30 – ADM (Archer Daniels Midland Co.) acquires 3 European oilseed processing facilities from Unilever including the crushing plant and oil refinery at Hamburg, West Germany – originally founded by Hansa Muehle. ADM has already established its European oilseed operation headquarters in Hamburg as ADM Oelmuehlen GmbH.
1986-1989 – A. Nattermann Cie. GmbH is acquired by Rhône Poulenc. In 1987 Nattermann Chemie GmbH is renamed in Nattermann Phospholipid GmbH. In 1989 Rhône Poulenc acquires Rorer – renamed Rhône-Poulenc Rorer (RPR).
1988 – Nattermann acquires the American Lecithin Co. (ALC).
1988 July – The first book about tempeh in German, Das Tempeh-Buch, by Shurtleff and Aoyagi, is published by Ahorn Verlag in Prien, West Germany.
1989 March – The earliest known commercial miso made in Germany, Taifun Sweet White Miso, is made by Life Food in Freiburg. Next, also in 1989, is Rice Miso, Barley Miso, and Brown Rice Miso, made by Kanta Kozaki GmbH in Urbach. The owners of Kanta Kozaki are Hiroshi Kozaki (Japanese) and Karl Selgmann (Seligmann?) (German). Next, in March 1990, is Viana Soy & Rice Miso, made by Viana Naturkost GmbH in Huerth. The owner is Bernd Drosihn.
1989 Aug. – Viana Naturkost GmbH is started by Bernd Drosihn in Cologne after he left Soyastern. His first soy products are Viana Tempeh, Viana Deep-Fried Tempeh, and Viana Tempeh Salads. He also makes 3 Viana seitan products. His designs are unique and very stylish.
      In 1990 he moves the company to Hirth, in 1992 to Euskirchen-Kuchenheim, and in May 2001 to Wiesbaum/Vulkaneifel. In Nov. 2003 he renames the company to Tofutown.com from Viana.
1994 – Nattermann Phospholipid begins cooperation with Central Soya (CSY). Nattermann is now the world’s leader in lecithin fractionation.
1999 July 15 – SKW acquires Lucas Meyer.
1999 – Armin Wendel of Germany writes biographies of Hermann Bollmann and Bruno Rewald, pioneers of lecithin and soybeans in Germany, each carefully researched with sources cited.
2002 May 1 – Nattermann Phospholipid GmbH is acquired by Lipoid GmbH. Later in 2002, Nattermann Phospholipid GmbH is renamed Phospholipid GmbH.
2012 – The Danube Soya Association is founded; with members from every link in the soybean value chain, it is working to grow GM-free soybeans sustainably in Europe.
2015 Sept. – Life Food GmbH of Freiburg, the largest tofu maker in Germany, has about 1,600 hectares of organic, non-GMO (not genetically engineered) soybeans cultivated by more than 100 contract farmers in Germany, France and Austria.
      In 1997 about 10-12 farmers grew about 40 ha of organic non-GMO soybeans. The protein content was 39-42%.
      In 2003-05 about 31% of the company's soybeans were grown in Europe.
      In 2006-08 about 42%
      In 2009-11 about 64%
      In 2012-14 about 79%
      In 1915 Life Food expects its European soybean harvest to be 3300 metric tons, which could cover their total soybean needs in 2016 (Wolfgang Rainer Heck, Managing Director, 13 May 2015, personal communication).


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