History of Soybean Crushing: Soy Oil and Soybean Meal (980-2016)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-928914-89-1

Publication Date: 2016 Oct. 25

Number of References in Bibliography: 10,953

Earliest Reference: 980 CE

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Brief Chronology/Timeline of Soybean Crushing to Make Soy Oil and Soybean Meal
The main way of using soybeans, worldwide, at present is to crush them to make soy oil and soybean meal. Soy oil is the world’s 2nd most popular vegetable oil (after palm oil) and soybean meal is by far the most widely used source of protein in livestock and poultry feeds.
      The soybean was domesticated in the eastern half of north China around the 11th century BCE (Hymowitz 1970, p. 417). For most of its history of roughly 3000 years, the soybean has been processed to make human foods such as tofu, soy sauce, fermented black soybeans, miso, soymilk and natto. Small amounts have also been eaten unprocessed as green vegetable soybeans and boiled whole soybeans.
      About 66% of the way through its long history (in 980 CE) we find the first record of soybeans being used (crushed) for oil (in China); the oil was generally used for illumination (burning in lamps) and the meal was used as a nitrogen-rich fertilizer on sugar cane fields in southern China.
      About 96% of the way through its history (in 1908, in England) we find the first record of the soybean being crushed mainly for its oil and meal; the modern Western paradigm had begun. Most of the oil was used to make soap and most of the meal was fed to livestock. It was probably not until about 1942 that the majority of the world’s soybeans were crushed for oil and meal.
980 CE – Soybean oil is first mentioned (worldwide) in the Wulei xiangan zhi [Treatise on the mutual responses of things according to their categories], by Lu Zanning. The section titled “Miscellany” states: “Soybean oil can be mixed with tung oil for use in caulking boats/ships.”
      Even though soybean cake/beancake is not mentioned, it must have existed in China by this time since it is always a by-product or co-product of the process for making soybean oil.
1061 CE – Soy oil is mentioned next in China in the Bencao tujing [Illustrated pharmacopoeia], by Su Song et al. It states that soybeans “can be pressed to give soy oil” (you). This is the earliest document seen that mentions soy oil for food or therapeutic use – as the context shows clearly.
      A similar passage appears in 1082 in the Zhenglei bencao [Reorganized pharmacopoeia], by Tang Shenwei.
1313 – An oil press (youzha) is first described in the Wangzhen nongshu [Wang Zhen's agricultural treatise], by Wang Zhen. A long passage describes the wedge press used to press oil (in this case) from sesame seeds.
      Note that oil presses were being used to press oil from olives in the 6th century BCE by Mediterranean civilizations.
1596 – Soy oil is mentioned in the Bencao gangmu [The great pharmacopoeia], compiled by Li Shizhen. It states that yellow soybeans are good for pressing to obtain oil. A subsequent passage notes: (3) Soybean oil (douyou quiwei) nature and flavor: Pungent, sweet, and hot (re); slightly toxic. This is the earliest Chinese-language document seen that uses the term douyou (“bean oil”) to refer to soybean oil.
1620? – Soybean cake is first mentioned in the Bu nongshu [Supplement to the Treatise on Agriculture by Mr. Shen]. It states: When I went to Shaoxing (Wade-Giles: Shao-hsing, a city in northern Zhejiang province) I observed that everyone used oil-cake (caibing, W.-G. ts'ai ping) on their ridges at the rate of 10 catties per mu. They placed a pinch on every clump of wheat just as it was emerging from the soil. In my area they use soybean-cake (doubing) mixed with urine during the earthing-up; this is even more effective. It is applied at the rate of 2 pints of soybean-cake for every pint of seed,...”
1637 – The most important early Chinese description of making soybean oil (with illustrations) is found in the Tiangong kaiwu [Exploitation of the works of nature], by Song Yingxing. The chapter on “Vegetable oils and fats” notes that the oil of yellow soybeans is one of the best for eating; from each tan of yellow soybeans, 9 catties of oil is obtained. In Jiangsu soybean oil is used as food for humans, and the meal cakes are fed to pigs.
      Note. This is the world’s earliest document seen that describes the feeding of defatted soybean cakes to livestock – in this case pigs.
1664 – The use of the wedge press on soybeans is first described in the Wuli xioashi [Mini-encyclopedia of the principles of things], by Fang Yizhi. The section titled “Different oils” states that to eat/cook vegetables, use tea-seed oil or soybean oil (douyou). When you press yellow soybeans (huangdou), you can get 18 catties of oil from one picul; if you use the wedge press, you can get 22 catties.
      Note: 1 picul = 133.3 lb. 1 catty is about 500 gm (1.1023 lb).
1844 Aug. 14 – The earliest English-language document seen that mentions soy oil appears in British India in “Presentations to the gardens and museums” Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India, Proceedings and Report (Calcutta) 3(Part 2):170. Meeting of Aug. 14. A discussion of pressing “large White pea” (clearly the soybean) in a wedge press notes: “The oil is used both for eating and burning [in lamps for illumination], more for the latter purpose however, and the cake – packed like large Gloucester cheeses, or small grindstones in circular shape – is distributed throughout China in every direction both as food for pigs and buffaloes, as also for manure.”
1844 – A 2nd English-language document, written from near Whampoa (just north of Canton / Guangzhou) focuses on “bean cakes:” “In one of the rooms of my orange-grove friend's house, there were heaped up large piles of some coarse cakes, that puzzled me for some time. I asked what they were, but the only answer was 'Chow chow;' (* food) upon which I tasted, but could not at all manage to relish them; and no wonder, for although chow chow, they are not chow chow for men, but for beasts. They are [soy] bean-cakes, used for fattening cattle,…” (The New Monthly Magazine, p. 389).
      This is the earliest English-language document seen that uses the term “bean cakes” to refer to ground, defatted soybeans shaped like huge wheels; this term soon becomes the standard for many decades.
1855 Jan. – The earliest French-language word for soybeans is pois oléagineux (literally “oil peas”). Soy oil is called l'huile de Pois (“oil of the peas”) (Montgaudry 1855). The five earliest references to soy oil in Europe (all in 1855) appear in the Bulletin de la Société d'Acclimatation (in France).
      In 1857 soy oil is first mentioned in Italian. On 7 May 1859 it is first mentioned in a British newspaper.
1855 July 1 – E. Fremy of France is the first to determine the oil content of soybeans (18%) (Bulletin de la Société d'Acclimatation, July, p. 282-83).
1859 – “In 1859, about a million piculs [1 picul = 133.33 lb] of the [soybean] cake were reshipped to the south of China from Shanghai alone, chiefly for the consumption of sugar growers” (Samuel Wells Williams. 1863. The Chinese Commercial Guide. p. 111).
      Note: This is the earliest document seen showing that the nitrogen-rich soybean cakes are used for fertilizing sugar cane plantations in China.
1861 Jan. – Thomas Anderson in Scotland publishes the world’s first chemical analysis of soybean cakes (each about 4 inches thick). The composition is as follows: Water 14.44%. Oil 6.88%. Albuminous compounds 45.87%. Starch, sugar, gums, &c. 21.48%. Fibre 5.25%. Ash 6.08%. The ash contained: Phosphates of lime and magnesia 1.32%. He adds: “In point of nutritive value, this cake must be considered as taking the first place among cattle foods. It bears a close general resemblance in composition to decorticated earth nut-cake, but surpasses it in the quantity of albuminous or proteine compounds, to the extent of nearly 2 per cent.” (Transactions of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, p. 506).
      On 9 March 1861 his results are published in German in Chemisches Central-Blatt.
1861The Medical Missionary in China: A Narrative of Twenty Years' Experience, by William Lockhart gives a vivid eye-witness description of how commercial soy oil is made and packed in China from soybeans grown in northeast China and southern Manchuria. The “bean-oil” oil is stored in large baskets “lined with a very tough thin paper glued to the inside of the basket by varnish, and then varnished over. The oil never exudes if the paper has been properly attached to the baskets, each of which will hold 100 pounds of oil, and is the shape of a large flat jar, with a narrow mouth.”
      This is the earliest document seen that uses the term “bean-oil” (or “bean oil”) to refer to soy bean oil. This will be the standard term for the next 3 decades or so.
1866 – In the “Report on the trade at the port of Chefoo [Yantai] for the year 1865,” we find the earliest known statistics on exports of soybeans or soy products from China. That year slightly more than 100 million pounds of bean cake were exported from Chefoo. That equals 503,242 tons (of 2,000 lbs. each). (Reports on the Trade of the Treaty Ports. 1866. p. 33-36).
1878 – Prof. Friedrich Haberlandt (Vienna) is the first Westerner to describe the use of soy oil in cooking. After noting that the oil content of soybeans is low, he found a miller to press out some oil. “I had someone prepare baked goods where oil was used in the recipe and I could not detect the slightest after-taste.” (Die Sojabohne, p. 10-15).
1883 April 19 – Meissl and Boecker publish the first detailed chemical composition of the soybean; they find it contains 18% oil and about 35% protein (Ueber die Bestandtheile der Bohnen von Soja hispida).
      These percentages show that the soybean is a remarkable seed, especially due to its high protein content. Note that the basic composition of the soybean was first discovered by Western (Austrian) scientists. It had not previously been understood in East Asia during the previous 2,000 years.
1887 Feb. – Morawski and Stingl publish the first precise soybean oil (Sojaöl) constants (such as crystallization point, free fatty acids, iodine number, Maumené test, melting point of the free fatty acids, saponification value, solidification point, specific gravity, unsaponifiable matter percentage, etc.), and are the first to classify it as a semi-drying oil (Monatshefte fuer Chemie, p. 85-87)
1891 – Japan starts to import large amounts of soybean cake from China for use as a fertilizer. The staple exports from Newchwang [Yingkou, Manchuria] “are beans, bean-cake, and bean oil... Until recent years the bulk of the beans and bean-cake trade was carried on with the south of China; but since the Chino-Japanese war [Sino-Japanese war, 1894-1895] an extensive trade has been carried on with Japan; in fact Japan has outstripped China altogether.” Exports to Japan increased from 460,000 taels in 1891 to 5,079,000 taels in 1897. Exports to Canton increased from 1,751,000 taels in 1891 to 2,338,000 taels in 1897 (Beresford, C.W. 1899. The Break-Up of China]. Note: A tael is a unit of Chinese money, used prior to 1909.
1893 Aug. – The word “extraction” is first used in connection with the commercial crushing of soybeans to give oil and meal (Alexander Hosie. 1893. Report by Mr. Hosie on the island of Formosa with special reference to its resources and trade. 26 p).
1901 – Crushing of soybeans starts in Japan. Owada Seisakusho of Tsuruga, Fukui prefecture, Japan, starts making commercial soy oil (daizu abura) and soybean cakes (daizu kasu) using the press method (assaku-ho) and Manchurian soybeans (Nisshin Oil Mills Co., Ltd. 1969. Nisshin Seiyu 60 nen-shi [Nisshin Oil Mills 60-year history]. Tokyo, Japan: Nisshin. 374 p.)
1901 – Alexander Hosie gives an excellent account of the “The trade of Manchuria.” (Chapter X) in his book Manchuria: Its People, Resources, and Recent History. Soybeans, soy oil, and soybean cake were Manchuria’s main exports. Hosie was in charge of the British consulate at Newchwang in Manchuria from Nov. 1894 to July 1897 and from April 1899 to April 1900.
1904 – The term “soy-bean oil” is first used in English by Julius Lewkowitsch in his famous book Chemical Technology and Analysis of Oils, Fats, and Waxes. 3rd ed. (See vol. 2, p. 506-08).
1907 March – The word “solvent” is first used in connection with crushing soybeans (Bulletin of the Imperial Institute {London}. 1907. Vol. 5, p. 86-87).
1907 – The first large import of soybeans to England, 400 to 500 tons, is made by a crusher at Liverpool, the beans being shipped from Hankow [China] and delivered to Liverpool at a cost of $50.00 per ton. It is found that an oil valuable to soap manufacturers could be produced and that the by-products, cake and meal, both high in protein, could be utilized by manufacturers of mixed feeds (Julien Brodé. 1910. Special Agents Series {U.S. Bureau of Manufactures, Department of Commerce and Labor}. No. 39. p. 10).
1908 – “Once in a long while an event occurs in the industrial world to change, and sometimes even to revolutionize the set order of things... The latest event to attract prominent attention has been the introduction in an extensive way of the soya bean to the markets of Europe” (Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter. 1909. June 21, p. 7-8).
      England is the first country outside of East Asia to import soybeans on a large scale. Prior to 1908 most people in England (or Europe) had never heard of a soybean. Impetus to these imports and the manufacture of soybean products was given by the shortage and high prices of cottonseed and linseed in Europe – due to the failure of the linseed crop in Argentina and a very small cotton crop in Egypt – and by a surplus of soybeans in Manchuria after the Russo-Japanese war. In Feb. 1908 a cargo of 9,000 tons of soybeans was received at Hull. (Brodé 1910; Christian Science Monitor. 1910. July 21, p. 2; Piper & Morse 1923, p. 17). These soybeans were crushed to make oil meal by established oilseed crushers, especially in Hull and Liverpool.
      Established English oilseed crushers began to relate to soybeans in an entirely new way – which we call the modern Western paradigm. Instead of using them primarily as a source of food and condiments, they used them as a source of vegetable oil and of a protein-rich cake to supplement livestock rations.
      Imports of soybeans from Manchuria and Japan to Europe (primarily England) soon reached enormous amounts:
1908 – 60,900 tons
1909 – 412,757 tons
1910 – 442,669 tons
1911 – 321,940 tons
      “The firms which first entered the export trade in Soya beans in quantity were Messrs. Nathanson (Russia) and Messrs. Mitsui and Co. (Japan). Several English firms have also entered the trade, and among these must be mentioned Messrs. S. Macgregor and Co., and Messrs. Jardine, Mathieson [Matheson] and Co.” Also Messrs. [John] Bibby, of Liverpool (Milling 1909. “A New British Industry.” Aug. 28, p. 290, 292; Hull Daily Mail. 1909. March 27, p. 3, col. 3; Norman Shaw. 1911, p. 20-21).
      A large amount of England’s early soy oil was used by Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight (near Liverpool) in making their well-known Sunlight soap.
      In 1909 Prof. Gilchrist at Armstrong College did the earliest known trial in Europe using defatted soybean meal in livestock feeds. This and other early studies found that soybean meal was of good quality for milk or beef production.
1909 March 5 – The word “crushing” (or “crush” or “crusher” or “crushers,” etc.) is first used in its modern Western sense to refer to the process by which oil and meal are obtained from soybeans (Scotsman {Edinburgh}, p. 10).
1909 March 10 – British Patent 5,797, “Improvements in the manufacture of soya-bean oil,” by Lewis Edward Common, applied for on 10 March 1909, and assigned to the Hull Manufacturing Company, Ltd (of Stoneferry, Hull, England), is the earliest patent seen that mentions the use of a solvent for commercial extraction of soya beans to make oil and meal.
      This is also the earliest document seen that mentions a European oil milling company (Hull Oil Mfg. Co.) in connection with soybeans.
      And it is the earliest English-language document seen that contains the term “soya-bean oil.”
1909 June – Soybeans are first imported into Germany on a commercial scale (Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter. 1909. June 21, p. 7-8).
1909 – The East Asiatic Company (EAC) has erected the Dansk Sojakagefabrik (The Danish Soyacake Factory Ltd.) in Copenhagen, Denmark, to crush soya beans. In 1910 the first hydraulic presses were installed to process 30,000 tons of soyabeans a year. The EAC’s own ships will keep the plant supplied with soybeans from East Asia (Tropical Agriculturist, Supplement {Ceylon}. 1910. Oct. 15, p. 368; Westphall 1972. The East Asiatic Company, p. 164-65).
1910 March – Germany removes its 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 20 – The modern term “soy oil” is first used in English (Sydney Mail {Australia}. p. 12).
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 – The Stettiner Oelwerke is founded on the west bank of the Oder River in northeastern Germany. The East Asiatic Company (Oestasiatiske Kompagni, EAC) is the principal shareholder (Westphall 1972, p. 206-07).
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:...).
1910 – The term “soybean meal” starts to be used, however initially it refers to ground whole soybeans. Therefore, to clarify the terminology, when defatted soybean meal became available in the 1930s, it was called “soybean oil meal.”
1909-1911 – Early imports of soybean oil to the United States. Soybean oil was probably being imported by late 1909, since regular market price quotations were first available from that time. In Oct. 1909 “soja bean oil” was being imported as an edible oil and its dutiable status was being examined by the U.S. Board of General Appraisers. By Jan. 1910 cottonseed oil reached its all-time record price of 20 cents a pound, which was driving up the price of soap.
1911 – During the year ending June 30, 1911, 41.1 million lb of soy bean oil worth $2.55 million are imported to the USA (San Francisco Chronicle. 1909. Oct. 7, p. 77; Thompson and Morgan 1912; New York Times. 1910. Jan. 2).
      For many years, cottonseed had been the leading oil-producing seed in the USA, followed by linseed.
1911 – The first documented crushing of soybeans in the USA to obtain oil and meal took place in 1911 (probably not in 1910 as some accounts say) at Seattle, Washington. The soybeans were imported from Manchuria by the Albers Brothers Milling Co. and sold to Herman Meyer, who operated a small hydraulic press in Seattle. His establishment was later named Pacific Oil Mills. The meal was sold as Proteina (Markley & Goss. 1944. Soybean Chemistry and Technology. p. 137-38).
1912 – In Sweden, a new plant is being installed to crush soybeans. “The plant will be the first of its kind in Sweden. Soya-bean oil, oil cake, and meal have hitherto been imported from Hull, England, and from Copenhagen. This oil has in the past four or five years become a strong competitor of other vegetable oils,…” (Fuller 1912. Daily Consular and Trade Reports {U.S. Bureau of Manufactures…}).
1912 – The toxicity of trichloroethylene-extracted soybean oil meal (TESOM) is first observed by Stockman in Scotland. Trichloroethylene is a non-explosive solvent (Stockman. 1916. J. of Comparative Pathology and Therapeutics. June 30, p. 95-107).
1912 – Soybean oil is first used in margarine in a small way. It is first used in large quantities in margarine in 1916 (Kishlar, L. 1941. Soybean Digest. July, p. 11).
1914 – Soybean oil hardened by hydrogenation is first used in shortenings (Kishlar, L. 1941. Soybean Digest. July, p. 11).
1914 – Hermann Bollmann of Hansa Muehle starts crushing soybeans in Hamburg, Germany – probably on a small scale for a short time – before he was conscripted into the German military in May 1915 (Notebooks of Hermann Bollmann, 1935).
1915 Dec. 13 –“The first commercial manufacture of soy-bean oil and meal from domestic soy beans in the United States was started on December 13, 1915, by the Elizabeth City Oil and Fertilizer Company of Elizabeth City, North Carolina... Other oil mills in North Carolina that crushed more or less soy beans during the past season were those located at New Bern, Hertford, Winterville, Washington, Wilson, Farmville, Lattimore, and at a few other places” (C.B. Williams. 1916. Dec. p. 2-3). This mill was ordinarily a cottonseed crusher. At this time, North Carolina is the leading soybean producing state in the USA.
      “This mill was later operated by the Eastern Cotton Oil Company, but its operations were discontinued in the early 1930s. The first soybean crush was largely a test run, extending from December 13 to 20, 1915. During that time, 10,000 bushels of local soybeans were pressed in the six expellers with which the mill was equipped, and the resulting meal was reported to be of excellent quality, containing 5.0 to 5.5% oil. The test was conducted by Mr. W.T. Culpeper [sic, Culpepper], manager of the firm, as part of his activities toward encouraging local soybean production. The experiment was so successful that the company continued to process local soybeans, as supplies became available…” (Markley & Goss. 1944. Soybean Chemistry and Technology. p. 137-38).
      Other mills in North Carolina that usually crushed cottonseed, but that crushed domestic U.S. soybeans in 1915/1916 were:
      Eastern Cotton Oil Co. (Hereford).
      Winterville Cotton Oil Co.
      New Bern Cotton Oil & Fertilizer Mills.
      Farmville Oil and Fertilizer Co.
      Farmers’ Cotton Oil Mill (Wilson).
      Thus, by 1916 seven cottonseed mills in North Carolina were crushing (or had crushed) soybeans.
      “In 1915 approximately 100,000 bushels of American-grown beans were pressed for oil” (U.S. Tariff .Commission 1922).
      In June 1916, L.P. Nemzek wrote in the Paint Manufacturers' Association of the U.S., Educational Bureau, Science Section, Circular. No. 37. 8 p. June 10. See p. 5. “During the past six or seven months there has been produced in this country in the neighborhood of one hundred thousand gallons of soya oil. The largest part of this quantity has been produced by the Elizabeth City Oil & Fertilizer Co., Winterville Cotton Oil Co. and the New Bern Cotton Oil & Fertilizer Mills.”
      In 1917 W.J. Morse reported that three more North Carolina cottonseed mills had begun to crush soybeans:
      Edenton Cotton Oil Mill
      Hertford/Hartford Cotton Oil Co.
      Sea Island Cotton Oil Co. (Charleston).
      Then in Feb 1918 Globe Cotton Seed Mills (renamed Globe Mills by March 1918) began to crush imported soybeans in Vernon, California.
1913-1924 – There are huge imports of soy oil to the USA just before, during, and just after World War I (which America entered on 6 April 1917). “The average amount of soy oil imported yearly from the years 1913 to 1924 is 107,530,167 pounds with a value of $10,260,770 with a maximum yearly amount of 336,999,646 pounds valued at $32,834,034 imported in 1918” (Cullison 1924, Oct. p. 5).
      According to the U.S. Statistical Abstract, imports of soybean oil from Manchuria declined after the peak year of 1918 as follows:
      1919 – 195,808,000 pounds
      1920 – 112,214,000 pounds
      1921 – 17,233,000 pounds
      1922 – 17,294,000 pounds
1915 July – The modern term “soybean oil” is first used by J.C. Robert of Mississippi.
1915-1917 – The South Manchuria Railway Co. constructs an experimental soybean solvent extraction mill (using benzine solvent) at Dairen, Manchuria. The machinery is brought out in sections from Germany, set up by German experts, and operated by them for some months. It was subsequently sold to Suzuki & Co. (Suzuki Shoten, which later became Hohnen Oil Co. Ltd.) (Williamson 1917. Commerce Reports {USA}. Dec. 31, p. 1227-29).
1916 Sept. 28 – Hermann Bollmann, founder of Hansa Muehle GmbH (Hamburg, Germany), applies for his earliest known patent, German Patent 303,846, a patent for countercurrent solvent extraction. A large drawing shows the extraction equipment in detail.
      On 22 June 1920 (shortly after World War I) Bollmann applies for the corresponding patent in the USA. It is issued on 28 March 1922 as U.S. patent No. 1,411,154.
      Note: The patent for the Hildebrandt, or U-tube, continuous solvent extractor was not applied for in Germany until 22 Feb. 1929. It was issued in Germany on 27 June 1931 as German Patent 528,287. It competed with Bollmann’s “paternoster” extractor.
      It was probably in 1916 that Hansa Muehle began processing soybeans using the continuous solvent system. We know that in 1916 Hansa Muehle GmbH, Hamburg, was established as a company for the purpose of processing soybeans based on the Bollmann process.
      However MacGhee states(Oil Mill Gazetteer. 1947. Aug. p. 18) in 1928 that the world’s first successful continuous soybean solvent extraction plant is put into operation at Hansa Muehle in Hamburg, Germany. The central plant consisted of four extractor units with a combined capacity of over 1,000 tons/day.
1916 – Havens Oil Co. in Washington, Beaufort Co., North Carolina, owned by Jonathan Haven, crushes 30,000 bushels of soybeans as an experiment (Dies, E.J. 1942. Soybeans: Gold from the Soil, p. 14-15)
      Havens Oil Co. “has been crushing soy beans, both local and foreign, in his cotton-oil mill for years” (Smith, Alfred G. 1923. Country Gentleman. Feb. 10. p. 8, 42).
1917 – Since the outbreak of World War I, Japan has become a major exporter of soybean oil. Kobe and Osaka have emerged as the key port cities for Japanese oil mills (Davies 1917, Board of Trade Journal {London}).
1920 Sept. 3 – National Soybean Growers’ Association is organized at the farm of Taylor Fouts (named Soyland) in Carroll County, Indiana. 1,000 people are present. In 1925 it is reorganized and renamed the American Soybean Association (ASA) (Proceedings of the American Soybean Association. 1925. p. 39-42).
1920 Oct. – Chicago Heights Oil Co. (Chicago Heights, Illinois), the first Midwestern soybean crusher, is now crushing soybeans using expeller equipment designed for crushing corn germ. It is operated by George Brett and I. Clark. Bradley. Since the entire 1920 crop of Illinois soybeans were saved for seed, “Bradley bought 10 carloads of North Carolina and Virginia beans, of the Mammoth Yellow variety. With these and what soybeans he could pick up locally, he was able to begin operations. Soon he was disposing of the first tank car of native soybean oil ever sold in Chicago. But nobody wanted to buy his soybean meal. In Aug. 1923 the company went out of business (Soybean Digest. 1941. July, p. 11; Soybean Digest, Sept. 1944, p. 18-19; Soybean Digest. 1945. May, p. 15; Eisenschiml, Otto. 1929. American Paint Journal. March 18. p. 22, 24).
      The equipment was purchased in 1924 Funk Bros. Seed Co. of Bloomington, Illinois (Markley & Goss. 1944. Soybean Chemistry and Technology. p. 137-38).
1920 – The term “soybean oil meal” starts to be used in about 1920. It peaked in about 1950 and then began to decline rapidly. By the early 1960s it had been clearly replaced by the term “soybean meal, which is the term used today (Google Ngram viewer).
1921-22 – First tariffs on soybean oil: The Act of 1921, an emergency tariff that went into effect on 28 May 1921, placed the first tariff on soya-bean oil, at the rate of 20 cents per gallon (2.67 cents per pound). The Act of 1922 (which went into effect on 22 Sept. 1922) reduced this slightly to 18.75 cents per gallon (2.5 cents per pound) (U.S. Tariff Commission 1926, p. 55).
1922 Sept. 30 – A.E. Staley Co. starts crushing soy beans in Decatur, Illinois (Staley Journal. 1922. Nov., p. 18-9; Forrestal 1982, p. 61). For more than 60 years thereafter, Staley had the honor of being the oldest existing soybean crusher in the United States.
      Without a crusher to buy their soybeans, farmers in the USA will not grow them. Thus a new crusher anywhere is the sparkplug of soybean production in the surrounding area.
      Soy bean production in the United States is estimated to be about 500,000 acres, up from an estimated 190,000 in 1920 (Christian Science Monitor. 1922. July 27).
1922 Nov. – East St. Louis Cotton Oil Co. (of East St. Louis, St. Clair Co., Illinois) is now processing soybeans (J.C. Hackleman, letter of 18 Nov. 1922, concerning soybean mills in Illinois).
1922 – The total domestic production of crude soya-bean oil was too small to be tabulated by the Bureau of the Census in Washington until the year 1922, when the production was given as 751,000 pounds. Since that time it has risen in 1928 to 4,716,000 pounds as may be seen from the following table:
      1922 – 751,000 pounds.
      1923 – 1,404,000 pounds.
      1924 – 950,000 pounds.
      1925 – 2,520,000 pounds.
      1926 – 2,645,000 pounds.
      1927 – 3,088,000 pounds.
      1928 – 4,716,000 pounds (estimate).
(U.S. Tariff Commission 1926, p. 57; Eisenschiml, Otto. 1929. American Paint Journal. March 18. p. 22, 24).
      “Domestic production has at all times been small compared with imports. In 1923 domestic output was 4 per cent of imports; in 1924 and 1925 about 8.5 per cent (USTC 1926, p. 57).
1923 – Peru Products Co. in Peru, Miami Co., Indiana, is now crushing soybeans (Gardner, Henry A. 1923. Paint Manufacturers' Association of the U.S., Educational Bureau, Science Section, Circular. No. 165. p. 117-18. Jan.).
1923 – Monticello Co-operative Soybean Products Co. in Monticello, Piatt Co., Illinois, is now crushing soybeans (Gardner, Henry A. 1923. Paint Manufacturers' Association of the U.S., Educational Bureau, Science Section, Circular. No. 165. p. 117-18. Jan). It is the first plant in the United States to use solvent extraction on soybeans.
      “One mill, at Monticello, Illinois, used an extraction plant, but apparently not with good success. The solvent used was benzol, and difficulties were encountered in removing the last traces of solvent from the meal” (Eisenschiml, Otto. 1929. American Paint Journal. March 18. p. 22, 24).
      The “Piatt County Soybean Cooperative Company (sometimes referred to as the Monticello Grain Company) was organized in 1922 in Monticello, Illinois, and installed batch solvent extraction equipment for processing 300 bushels of soybeans per day. The solvent is said to have been benzol. This ill-fated undertaking was apparently unable to cope with the scarcity of beans and was in operation for only about six months during the period 1923 to 1924.” (Markley & Goss. 1944. Soybean Chemistry and Technology. p. 137-38).
1924 – Eastern Cotton Oil Co. of Norfolk, Virginia, is the 2nd U.S. company to attempt solvent extraction of soybeans – during the years 1924 and 1925. “A Bollmann type of continuous extractor, having a capacity of approximately 80 tons per day, was used on soybeans obtained from North Carolina, but the supply proved to be inadequate. Difficulty was also encountered in adapting the German-manufactured equipment to the processing of American-grown soybeans. After exhausting the available stocks of soybeans, the mill's operations were transferred to the extraction of Argentine flaxseed, but this was said to have been found unprofitable” (Markley & Goss. 1944. Soybean Chemistry and Technology. p. 137-38).
1924 – Prossco Oil Co. of Norfolk, Virginia, is the 3rd U.S. company to attempt solvent extraction of soybeans - using Scott rotary extractors during the years 1924 and 1925. “Their operations, however, consisted mainly in the extraction of cocoa butter and other fats, and only a small amount of soybeans is said to have been processed” (Markley & Goss. 1944. Soybean Chemistry and Technology. p. 137-38).
1925 Aug. 16 – The term "soybean processor" is first used to mean one that processes soybeans to make oil and cake/meal (Times of India {Bombay}. p. 15).
1926 – Exports of [soy] “bean cake” from China peak this year and collapse in 1933. These exports from China were first recorded in 1894.
1926 – Ralston Purina Co. establishes the Purina Research Farm for testing its laboratory-developed formula feeds (“Purina Chows”) on livestock and poultry under actual farm conditions. A 1946 report stated: “This Research Farm consisting of 712 acres, is located near Gray Summit, Missouri... 43 miles southwest of St. Louis” (Chemurgic Digest. 1946. Oct. 31. p. 347-49).
      By 1940 Allied Mills had established a similar farm in Illinois for testing its Wayne Feeds.
1927 – American Milling Co. starts crushing soybeans in Peoria, Illinois (Nakamura and Hieronymous. 1965. p. 3).
1928 March – The first soybean crusher west of the Mississippi River begins operations: Iowa Milling Co., 41 N. 6th St., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is owned by Joe and Max Sinaiko.
1929 – Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. starts to process soybeans at its Toledo (Ohio) and Chicago (Illinois) plants. The hydraulic presses that were used for flaxseed are now used for soybeans (Cross 1954, p. 40, 60; Wall Street Journal. 1929. March 11, p. 5).
1929 – Funk Brothers Seed Co. is now crushing soybeans at Bloomington and Taylorville, Illinois (Ad in Proceedings of the American Soybean Assoc. 1929. 2:26).
1929 – Shellabarger Products is now crushing soybeans in Decatur, Illinois (Prairie Farmer. 1931. Oct. 31. p. 3, 20).
1929 Aug. 6 – Allied Mills, Inc., of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is formed by the merger of the American Milling Co. (H.G. Atwood president) and the McMillen Feed Co. (founded by Dale W. McMillen, who later founded Central Soya). The American Milling Co. has been active in the soybean industry since 1899 (Indianapolis Star. 1929. Aug. 7; Flour & Feed. 1934. Feb. p. 22).
      The principal brand names of these predecessor companies, namely "Amco" and "Wayne" are continued after the merger. Allied Mills operates 7 major feed plants: Peoria, Illinois; Omaha, Nebraska; Fort Wayne, Indiana; East St. Louis, Illinois; Buffalo, New York; Memphis, Tennessee; and Portsmouth, Virginia. The feed plants all use soybean meal, made at the crushing plant in Peoria, Illinois, as a major ingredient in their Wayne Feeds (Wherry 1947. The Golden Anniverseary of Feeding, p. vi; American Miller, p. 1197, shows a photo).
      Allied Mills is soon crushing soybeans in Portsmouth, Virginia (Feb. 1934); Taylorville, Illinois (Aug. 1935); Bloomington, Indiana (Aug. 1935); and Omaha, Nebraska (Dec. 1938).
1929 and 1931 – U.S. Bureau of Census figures show factory consumption of soybean oil by industries for the years 1929 and 1931 (lbs):
Compounds and vegetable shortenings: 82,000 / 10,869,000.
Oleomargarine: 11,000 / 623,000.
Soap: 6,396,000 / 3,816,000.
Paint and varnish: 5,815,000 / 6,356,000.
Linoleum and oilcloth: 3,329,000 / 2,612,000.
Printing inks: 71,000 / 33,000.
Textiles 267,000 / -
Miscellaneous: 2,032,000 / 2,051,000.
Total: 17,903,000 / 26,260.000.
Note that most of the uses are not in foods.
1930 May 21 – National Soybean Oil Manufacturers Association is organized in Chicago. Active members will include manufacturers and refiners of soybean oil. It is renamed the National Soybean Processors Assoc. (NSPA) from June 1936 to July 1989, when it is renamed the National Oilseed Processors Assoc. (NOPA; Washington, DC) (Eastman 1930).
1930 – Soybean oil, before 1930, was considered by statisticians to be a foreign oil. Beginning with 1930, soybean oil has been excluded from the foreign vegetable-oil group, and included in the domestic vegetable-oil group (Walsh 1940).
1930 – In Japan, an estimated 40 million yen of soybean oil cake is imported yearly from Manchuria. “About 80 per cent of this cake is used for fertilizing purposes and the remaining 20 per cent for cattle and poultry feed, and a small amount for the manufacture of soy sauce and miso” (Log of the Dorsett-Morse Expedition. 1930. Dec. 26, p. 6844-45).
      Prior to 1930 less than 50,000 tons of soybean oil meal was produced annually in the USA. During the 1930-40 decade average production increased to 482,000 tons. This was a sizeable increase but yet represented only a modest proportion of the U.S. high-protein feed supply, which was led by cottonseed meal (Hanson 1958).
1930 – Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. is now crushing soybeans in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Minneapolis, Minnesota (Proceedings of the American Soybean Assoc. 1930. 3:15; Wall Street Journal. 1930. Dec. 16,
p. 7).
1931 May – Buckeye Cotton Oil Co. is now crushing soybeans in Louisville, Kentucky (Prairie Farmer. 1931. Oct 31, p. 3, 20).
1934 March – The first large-scale continuous solvent plant in the USA is that of the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, Chicago, Illinois. It begins operating a “Hildebrandt” extractor to process 100 tons/day of soybeans. The solvent is petroleum naphtha of the hexane type (Flour & Feed. 1934. Feb. p. 23; MacGee, E.A. 1947. Oil Mill Gazetter. Aug. p. 18).
1934 Sept. – Henry Ford is crushing soybeans in a simple solvent extractor which he has set up in an old wooden barn (formerly owned by his father) in Dearborn, Michigan. “The old barn shows how it can be done with machinery which most any farmer can rig up at home from odds and ends” (New Outlook. 1934, Sept., p. 56, 59, 61-63; Swinehart, J. 1934).
1934 Nov. – The Glidden Company, Chicago, Illinois, begins operating a six-story “Hildebrandt” continuous solvent soybean plant of 100 tons per day capacity earlier (Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter. 1934. Nov. p. 52; MacGee, E.A. 1947. Oil Mill Gazetter. Aug. p. 18).
      Less than a year later, on 7 Oct. 1935 a huge explosion destroyed the entire plant, leveled a city block around 1845 North Laramie Ave., and killed eleven people (Time magazine. 1935. Oct. 21. p. 34).
1934 Dec. 8 – Central Soya Co., founded in the midst of the Great Depression by Dale W. McMillen, in Decatur, Indiana, ships its first load of soybean oil. It started with a soybean processing capacity of 450,000 bushels per year at the Central Sugar Co.’s plant at Decatur (Business Week. 1944. Sept. 2. p. 74, 76).
1935 – Ralston Purina Co. opens its first three soybean crushing plants at Circleville, Ohio; Lafayette, Indiana; and St. Louis, Missouri. It was primarily interested in using soybean meal in its line of livestock feeds (Ad in Proceedings of the American Soybean Assoc. 1936. [Aug.]. Rear cover).
1936 Jan. – A.E. Staley Mfg. Co. (Feed Division; Decatur, Illinois) launches the world’s first “Pea Size Soybean Oil Meal.” By Dec. 1938 the product is renamed “Pea-Size Soybean Oil Meal Pellets” (41% protein or 37% protein) (Staley Journal. 1936. Jan. p. 43).
1937 Nov. – Central Soya Co., Decatur, Indiana, begins operating a Hansa-Muehle / Bollmann / “paternoster” continuous solvent soybean plant of 275 tons per day capacity (Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. 1948. Feb., p. 189).
1938 Oct. – Honeymead Products Co. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, begins operating a continuous solvent soybean plant with 100 tons per day capacity. By Aug. 1947 this plant was owned by Cargill, Inc. (MacGee, E.A. 1947. Oil Mill Gazetter. Aug. p. 18).
1941 Dec. 7 – With the start of World War II, the United States loses about 35% of its oils and fats that had been imported. In response the U.S. government asks U.S. soybean farmers to double their production in 1942 compared with 1941 (which they did) at subsidized prices. Soybean processors expand rapidly to keep up and soybean oil soon becomes a major U.S. oil.
      However: “In the early 1940's, soybean oil was considered neither a good industrial paint oil nor a good edible oil. Only under the exigencies of World War II was it added to margarines – and then to the absolute limit of 30 percent!” The soybean processing industry considered this flavor problem (called “reversion” or “flavor deterioration” or “the flavor stability problem”) its no. 1 problem. So it sent representatives to the Northern Regional Research Center (NRRC) and asked for help in solving the problem. The NRRC agreed to do so. It began by designing an effective taste panel procedure. NRRC and NSPA worked on this problem together throughout World War II (Dutton 1976, p. 805).
1941 Dec. 7 – Also during World War II the United States made a great effort to conserve animal protein, and to find new ways to replace it efficiently with vegetable protein. This way, more animal protein could be sent to American fighting forces and to the troops of Allied countries. Americans were encouraged to have meat-free-days and to use beans (including soybeans) and products made from beans (such as soy flour, as in baking).
      Scientists were strongly encouraged to reformulate animal diets using less animal protein. They quickly discovered that soybean oil meal made an excellent replacement for fish meal, casein, dried skim milk and the like with no loss of growth efficiency and at less cost. The poultry industry took the lead in using soybean oil meal and continued after the war’s end.
1941 – Not until 1941 were one-half of U.S. soybeans harvested for seed. Previously the majority of acres were used for hay, pasture, silage, or for plowing under for soil improvement (Calland 1951).
1940s early – The term “soy oil” starts to be used as a shortened form of “soybean oil.” However at present “soybean oil” is still by far the more popular of the two (Google Ngram Viewer).
1942 – An estimated 50% of the soybeans produced worldwide are now crushed to give soy oil and soybean meal.
1943 – Cargill, long known as a multinational grain trader, opens its first U.S. soybean crushing plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cargill News. 1943. Jan. p. 13-14). Later in 1943 it acquired two more soybean crushing plants, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and in Springfield, Illinois Iowa (Cargill News. 1943. Oct.).
1943 – A “paragraph from the 1943 annual report of the director of the Food Distribution Administration is of interest. 'At 30 cents a pound for meat, the cost of meat protein figures out at around $2.00 a pound. When milk retails at 15 cents a quart, the cost of milk protein also is $2.00 a pound. When soya meal retails at 35 cents a pound the cost of the soya protein is only 70 cents a pound'” (Malone 1944, p. 283).
1944 – For the first time in the history of the United States, more soy oil than cottonseed oil is produced (Business Week. 1946. April 27, p. 45-46; Bailey 1948).
1945 summer – At the close of World War II, Mr. Warren H. Goss, a chemical engineer at NRRC, was commissioned a major in the Army on special assignment to follow Patton's advancing tanks through Germany and to investigate the German oilseed industry. He was part of the “Technical Industrial Intelligence Committee (Subcommittee of Food and Agriculture).” As the troops advanced, he kept hearing about a recipe to cure soybean oil off-flavors, but not until he reached Hamburg did he learn the secrets, which he described to chemists at NRRC. In 1948 NRRC (later renamed NRRL) expanded its efforts to solve the off-flavor problem (Goss. 1946. “German soybean industry,” Soybean Digest. Sept. p. 24-26; Goss 1947. The German Oilseed Industry; Soybean Digest. 1948. Jan. p. 17).
1945-46 – After World War II there was a debate in the United States over the postwar fate of soybeans. One group predicted large surpluses after world trade returned to normal. Another group believed there would be large unmet needs for oil and meal in Japan and Europe which only the U.S. could fill – leading to many years of increased U.S. soybean production. The outcome was unclear until the late 1950s.
1946 April 22 – The first meeting to discuss the flavor stability of soybean oil is held under the auspices of the Soybean Research Council, National Soybean Processors Association (NSPA), at the Bismarck Hotel, Chicago, Illinois; 28 researchers attended. In his introductory remarks, Edward J. Dies, chairman of the board, NSPA, described the purpose of the meeting and made a plea for a joint effort: “I cannot too strongly emphasize the economic advantages of a rapid solution of the problem of flavor stability in soybean oil and soybean oil products.”
      Between April 1946 and April 1958 the Soybean Research Council of the National Soybean Processors Association sponsored twelve 1-day conferences or symposia at which papers were presented concerning “flavor stability in soybean oil” by leading researchers in the field. An open discussion followed each paper. These conferences were important in solving the problem of off-flavors in soybean oil. The proceedings of each was published.
1946-1947 – Immediately after World War II, the value of the oil in a bushel of soybeans was worth about 52% of the total and the meal only about 48%. Thereafter the value of the meal increased steadily, until by 1981 the meal was worth 69% of the total and the oil was worth only 31%.
      Thus, since shortly after World War II, the worldwide demand for soybean meal has been the driving force in world soybean production.
1947 – An estimated 33% of the soybean processing capacity operating in the USA used the solvent extraction process (MacGee, E.A. 1947. Oil Mill Gazetter. Aug. p. 18).
1948 summer – Ersel Walley, president of the American Soybean Association, spends most of this summer in Europe (France, Italy, German, Holland, and England) at his own expense, securing firsthand information on European agriculture and food. He discovers a big potential market for U.S. soybeans (Soybean Digest. 1948. Sept. p. 26).
1948 – Soybean oil passes cottonseed oil to become the leading oil or fat used in shortening (Marketing Research Report {USDA). 1959. No. 360. Sept.).
1949-1950 – Solvent extraction surpasses Expellers and screw presses as the most popular way of obtaining oil from soybeans in the USA (Soybean Digest. 1954, p. 14-15; Marketing Research Report {USDA}. 1954).
1949-51 – Norman “Kruse developed the toasting process for soybean oil meal, culminating in the invention and introduction of the desolventizer-toaster in 1949-51. These developments contributed significantly to the widespread acceptance of soybean oil meal as the prime protein concentrate for mixed feeds” (Soybean Digest. 1961. Feb., p. 27).
1950s – Switch from animal to vegetable oils: In the early 1950s Americans were consuming approximately equal amounts of animal and vegetable fats. By 1978 the ratio of vegetable to animal fat was 84 to 16. The same shift occurred worldwide, where the 1978 ratio was 71 to 29.
      There were at least three basic reasons for this shift: (1) The growing concern, especially after 1960, with the health dangers associated with consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol, most of which came from animal fats such as butter and lard; (2) Hydrogenation, which allowed vegetable oils to be used in making substitutes for butter and lard (i.e., margarine and shortening); and (3) The lower price of vegetable oils, shortening, and margarine. Production of soy oil grew dramatically during the postwar period, filling most of the increased demand for vegetable oil.
1950 – Soybean oil passes cottonseed oil to become the leading oil or fat used in margarine. In 1956 soybean oil accounted for 68% of the total oil used in margarine. (Marketing Research Report {USDA}. 1959. No. 360. Sept.).
1955 Oct. – George Strayer is appointed by the USDA to take a special trip to Asia to gauge the potential demand for U.S. soybeans. He finds a huge potential market in Japan (Soybean Digest. 1955. Oct. p. 7; Dec. p. 4-5; 1956. Jan. p. 8-10. Feb. p. 6-9).
1956 April – The Japan American Soybean Institute (JASI) is established in Tokyo with Shizuka Hayashi as its first director and most of its funding from USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). It has only one objective: To increase the market for U.S. soybeans and soybean products in Japan. With its earlier major sources of inexpensive soybeans in Manchuria and Korea now gone, Japan quickly becomes a major importer of U.S. soybeans. ASA begins its first overseas development program, finding ways to encourage the Japanese to consume more oil (soybean oil) and eat more meat (raised on soybean meal).
      By 1958 Japan is the No. 1 buyer of U.S. soybeans in the world (Soybean Digest. 1958. Sept., p. 34).
      During the late 1950s, working with FAS, the USDA started similar successful market development programs in most large European countries.
1956 June – The Soybean Council of America is established to help with the work of overseas market development. It continues until July 1969, when it is replaced by the American Soybean Institute.
1960 – “Today the U.S. soybean crop contributes 85% of the oil consumed in margarine, 51% of the oil consumed in shortening, and 47% of the oil consumed in salad and cooking oils” (Soybean Digest. 1960. June, p, 20-21).
1960s on – The family farm is gradually replaced by the factory farm. The rearing and slaughter of livestock and poultry becomes larger and more mechanized, and is controlled by personnel far removed from the animals and answerable to shareholders in corporations.
1965 – Continental Grain Co. purchases a majority interest (51%) in Allied Mills, Inc.
1968 – Bunge Corporation, a long-time multinational grain merchant, opens its first U.S. soybean crushing plant at Destrehan, Louisiana (Lynch et. al. 1988).
1972 June – Yoshihara Oil Co. in Japan, with support from ASA, launches the world’s first identified soy oils – Yoshihara Golden Salad Oil and Yoshihara Golden Tempura Oil.
1965 – Continental Grain Co. finishes its acquisition of Allied Mills, Inc. Continental now owns and operates three soybean crushing plants formerly owned by Allied Mills at Guntersville, Alabama; Taylorville, Illinois; and Cameron, South Carolina (Soybean Digest Blue Book. 1974, p. 167).
1970s early – The animal rights movement is generally regarded as having been founded in the UK by a group of post-graduate students at Oxford University, now known as the Oxford Group (Animal Rights, Wikipedia).
1975Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals, a book by Australian philosopher Peter Singer, is widely considered within the animal liberation movement to be the founding philosophical statement of its ideas.
1977 –Germans identify pure soy oil – the brand is Blauband, an established major brand in Germany (Soybean Digest, April 1977, p. 22d).
1985 Jan. 2 – Ralston Purina announces that it has sold six of its soybean crushing plants to Cargill, Inc. A seventh at Memphis, Tennessee, was closed. This removes the company from the soybean commodity business. With this transaction Cargill passes ADM to become America's largest soybean crusher.
1985 Jan. 12 – A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co. announces that it is basically getting out of the soybean crushing business. It has sold five of its six soybean plants (having a combined crushing capacity of some 275,000 bushels daily) to Independent Soy Processors Co., which is closely affiliated with Archer Daniels Midland. Staley was unable to sell its Decatur facility, which ceased operations indefinitely in Jan. 1984. With this transaction ADM has probably regained a slight lead over Cargill as America's largest soybean crusher.
2004-05 – Palm oil passes soy oil as the world’s leading vegetable oil or fat (2007 Soya & Oilseed Bluebook, p. 348; Source: USDA Statistics). Why has palm oil become so popular?
      (1) While one hectare of land can produce just 0.38 tons per year of soybean oil, 0.48 tons of sunflower oil, and 0.67 tons of rapeseed oil, that same hectare can produce more than 3.7 tons of palm oil – or more than 7-8 times as much.
      (2) This high yield, mostly in low-wage regions of the world, has made palm oil the least expensive vegetable oil in the world.
      (3) Much of the palm oil in tropical countries is sold with a minimum of processing and no refining or packaging – a brilliant orange oil (due to its high carotenoid content) sometimes still sold in outdoor markets in earthenware vats.
      Note: If palm meal contained more high-quality protein and were more widely used in livestock feeds, even more palm oil would be produced. Palm meal serves as a drag on production of palm oil.
2005 spring – Monsanto launches Vistive(TM) low-linolenic soybeans to provide a solution to the trans fatty acids in partially-hydrogenated soy oil. Vistive soybeans have been developed using genetic engineering. U.S. Food and Drug Administration's mandate to include trans fat labeling on food products beginning January 1, 2006, is a major factor driving the demand for low-linolenic soybean oil.
      About 17 billion pounds of soybean oil were consumed in the United States in 2004; this accounted for 80% of all edible fats and oils consumed in the USA.
2008 – A course in animal rights has been taught at Harvard Law School since about the year 2000. Another such course is now taught at Stanford University. According to Wikipedia, “animal law courses are now taught in 92 out of 180 law schools in the United States.” One concern is the treatment of animals in factory farms and their transportation and slaughter thereafter.
2013-14 – Production: The world’s leading vegetable oils are palm oil (59.69 MMT), soy oil (45.01 MMT), rapeseed oil (26.61 MMT), and sunflowerseed oil (15.96 MMT).
      Production: The world’s leading oilseed meals are soybean meal (189.52 million metric tons {MMT}), rapeseed meal (39.44 MMT), sunflowerseed meal (16.79 MMT), and cottonseed meal (15.69 MMT) (Source: USDA Statistics).
2016 – According to the Soya & Oilseed Bluebook (p. 294-300) there are now 40 soybean crushing and processing plants in the United States, 87 in Brazil, and 39 in Argentina. Large numbers also exist in China, Japan, Korea, India, etc.
      The world’s leading soybean crushers are ADM, Bunge, and Cargill.
      In soybean producing countries (such as the USA, Brazil or Argentina) the crushing plants are usually located near the area producing the soybeans. In soybean importing countries or regions (such as Europe, China, or Japan) the crushing plants are typically located in deep-water ocean ports.

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