History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Europe (incl. Eastern Europe and the USSR (1597 - Mid 1980s) - Part 3

by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi


A Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and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


Copyright 2007 Soyinfo Center, Lafayette, California

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


1920-1939. During the 1920s France occasionally imported large amounts of soybeans (176,000 tonnes in 1923; 105,000 tonnes in 1927), but in most other years imports were less than 10,000 tonnes. Imports of soy oil averaged about 7,000 tonnes a year, and no soybean meal or cake was imported (Ferree 1929). During the 1930s soybean imports rose from 11,000 tonnes in 1931 to a peak of 30,000 tonnes in 1937, then fell to 10,000 tonnes in 1939. These figures were far below those for Germany, Denmark, the UK, and the Netherlands.

During the 1920s and 1930s Leon Rouest emerged as a major pioneer of soybeans and soyfoods in France. Director of the experimental farms and of soybean breeding at Carcassone (Aude) since 1918 (as noted above), in 1921 he self-published a 121-page book titled Le Soja et son Lait Vegetal: Applications Agricoles et Industrielles. Drawing heavily on the work of Li Yu-ying (usually without acknowledgment), Rouest was vitally interested in developing new varieties of soybeans adapted to France, expanding research efforts on soybean culture (he urged France to start a Soybean Experiment Station), increasing soybean production, and finding new uses suited to France. He felt that there were two basic reasons soybeans had not come to be more widely grown and used in France. First, the varieties previously introduced were too late in maturing for France's relatively northern latitude and short season, and they were not properly acclimatized; varieties from Manchuria and northern China should be introduced, adapted to the south of France (which is about the same latitude as Milwaukee or Toronto), then gradually moved northward. And second, France had tried to introduce the soybean as a new food legume, whereas by far its greatest potential was as a forage crop and an industrial oilseed providing oil, meal, and "vegetable casein." (A similar analysis had been given by Paillieux in 1880). Rouest's book contained a lot of valuable historical information. Concerning soyfoods, he felt that soymilk was most useful as a calf milk replacer, and emphasized that soyfoods should not be introduced as items that would compete with traditional dry legumes or French dairy products. He reported that tofu was feared by the cheese industry and that "the soybean has been ostracized. Major commercial, financial, and social interests have viewed with terror the production of new and very inexpensive foods." In what might be called the world's first book on soymilk, he gave a number of original tofu recipes.

In 1931 Rouest left his post at Carcassone and went (apparently at the invitation of the Soviet government) to a new Soviet Soybean Institute near the Caucasus, where he spent 4-6 years on soybean varietal development and propagation. He cultivated 2,000 species and from these selected the best 600, which he brought back to France in 1935 and, with the aid of several agronomists, founded the "House of Soy" (Maison du Soja) at Aubignan (Avignon??) in Vaucluse in the southeast of France. In 1936 he wrote a major book entitled Le Soja Francaise y ses Applications Agricoles et Industrielles . In 1938 he died; fortunately his collection of important soybean varieties adapted to the south of France was not lost since the Station of Plant Improvement at Clermont-Ferrand started a study and classification of these varieties in 1936 (Schad et al. 1947; Gayroud 1977).

During the 1920s there was other work with soybeans and soyfoods in France. In 1927 Bois published a long section on this subject in Encyclopedie Biologique , Volume I, Food Plants. He gave a good summary of work from earlier sources. Also in 1927 Trabut, now Director of the Botanical Service of the Government of Algeria, discussed soyfoods applications throughout Europe and was the first European ?? to discover that pressure cooking is the key to cooking whole soybeans. From 1929-1935, George Ohsawa, founder of the international macrobiotic movement, paid his first visit to France, where he began teaching about Japanese soyfoods, primarily miso and shoyu (natural soy sauce).

In 1936 Jean Bordas, Director of the Station of Agronomy and Plant Pathology at Avignon, wrote a 7-page article on soyfoods then the next year expanded this into a 36-page book, Le Soja et son Role Alimentaire , which was basically a condensed version of Rouest's book of 1921. Bordas, like Rouest, felt that East Asian soyfoods would probably never catch on in France, except perhaps in wartime, but that soybean cultivation and food uses should be explored in the colonies.

During the 1930s many articles were written in France about soymilk, including those by Terroine (1931), Crevost (1934), and Castagnol (1934), plus a PhD dissertation by Lucie Yeu (1933) on soymilk nutrition based on feeding studies with 100 infants. Montagne's 1938 Gastronomique Larousse , the famous French encyclopedia of foods and cooking, had one page on soyfoods, including tofu soymilk, soy sauce, and "soy meat"

In about 1932 L. Berczeller, the Austrian pioneer of whole soy flour, began to work in France, hoping to introduce the soybean and soy flour there. In 1939 and 1940, as the clouds of war gathered, he worked with French soybean breeders at Toulouse on a program of soybean cultivation in southern France (see Chapter 51).

1940-1959. World War II led to a resurgence of interest in soybeans and soyfoods in France, and a new interest in soy oil to counter the shortage of fats. The most prolific writer and effective proponent of the soybean and soyfoods during this period was Amadee Matagrin. In 1939 he published a 390-page book entitled Le Soja et les Industries du Soja: Produits Alimentaires . It focused on soy oil, soy lecithin, and soy protein ( caseine vegetale ) products. In 1940 he wrote La Culture du Soja (122 pp.). Then in 1944, in the midst of the war, he wrote a 72-page book entitled Le Soya, Culture et Utilizations , the first 50 pages of which were about soybean agronomy. Matagrin lamented that, while the soybean was rising to prominence in Germany and the US, France was doing nothing and had forgotten its noble success of the past. Neither the government nor the agricultural universities seemed interested in supporting or working on soy-related research. In the book, however, he gave a long and detailed list of people and private institutions which were working on soybeans and soyfoods. Starting in February 1940 he and his co-workers had started to issue Revue Internationale du Soya , published by E.V. Letzgus in Paris and dealing mainly with industrial uses. Contracts for growing soybeans were first proposed in 1943 by the Centre National du Soya in Bordeaux (absorbed after 1944 by the GIOM, Groupment Interprofessionnel des Oleagineux Metropolitains, in Lyon) and shortly thereafter by the Societe^ francaise d'Exploitation du Soja (M. Louis Bataillet at Aubignan, Vaucluse). There also existed an Institut du Soya in Paris and a Centre National du Soya (SARL), a sort of commercial consortium of soybean growers and soyfoods manufacturers. Provincial soybean growers associations had long existed at Chateauroux, and more recently at Marseille and in the province of Var. Matagrin mentioned that he had worked with soyfoods for 5-6 years and he gave a number of recipes. He also noted that a bread containing 15-25% soy flour had been sold in Paris and Vichy since 1939.

Publications on soy flourished during the war. In 1941 Alexandre wrote Le Haricot de Soja . Aliment de l'Homme as an MD dissertation. In 1942 Giraud-Gillet wrote a 282-page book, Le Soja: Aliment d'Avenir , calling soy the "food of the future." Part I was about soybean cultivation and soyfoods nutrition, Part II about the major soyfoods (soymilk and its products, soy flour and its products, and soy condiments) and how to prepare them on a home and commercial scale, and Part II about "Soy Cuisine," including 300 recipes, divided into French, Asian, and American types. An administrator in Vietnam, he had some new information on Vietnamese soyfoods and the book was printed in Saigon. The purpose of the book was practical, to popularize soybeans and soyfoods; its structure was quite similar to Le Soja , written by Li and Grandvoinnet in 1912. There were many interesting French tofu recipes. In 1944 a 34-page pamphlet Le Soya francaise was published (Ref??, by who??), and Prof. Gounelle of Val-de Grace did work using soy flour to treat malnutrition (Ref??). Also in 1944 a list of the soybean varieties best adapted to France was published and approved by a soybean consultation committee; these varieties were then multiplied (Schad et al. 1945; 1947). In 1945 Rene Brochon had a regular radio program on French national radio, on which he discussed soybean culture and the use of soyfoods. In 1946 he published a remarkable soyfoods recipe book entitled Soya: Aliment Sauveur .

After the war there was a sharp increase in soybean imports over prewar highs. By 1950 imports had reached 50,000 and they averaged about 70,000 tonnes a year throughout the 1950s. These soybeans were crushed to yield oil meal. During this period there was a major decrease in publications and in interest in soyfoods. In 1951 in a book on dairy technology, G. Ray wrote an important review of work with soymilk in France and cited a monograph on soymilk production written jointly by Kaltenbach and Legris. He also noted that one Rene Jarre was specializing in the preparation of soyfoods, and that Rouest and H. de Guerpel were French soymilk pioneers. In 1956 Vialard Goudou (Ref??) wrote a PhD dissertation on the soybean and soyfoods in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

Interestingly France, where margarine was invented in 1869, never became a major manufacturer or consumer. Figures from 1957 showed that French per capita consumption was third from the lowest in Europe (1.7 kg or 3.7 lb); only Italy and Switzerland consumed less.

1960-1983. During the 1960s soybean imports to France increased to an average of about 120,000 tonnes a year, then during the 1970s they jumped to almost 600,000 tonnes a year, yet by 1980 France was still only the seventh largest soybean importer in Western Europe. Interestingly, soy oil imports rose dramatically from a mere 3,000 tonnes in 1966 to 93,000 tonnes in 1980, when France was Europe's second largest soy oil importer after West Germany. Yet much of the total oil produced (130,000 tonnes in 1980) was exported. Imports of soybean meal grew the most rapidly, from 100,000 tonnes in 1960 to 2,800,000 tonnes in 1980, making France Europe's leading meal importer. During the 1970s France built up a huge soybean crushing industry, whose capacity of 3.5 million tonnes in 1980 was the second largest in Europe, after West Germany. Still France's 54 million inhabitants had the lowest per capita soy oil consumption in Europe, only 2.06 kg in 1980. Most of the oil from the crushed soybeans was exported and the meal was fed to livestock, many of which produced butter, which was used in preference to soy oil. France's large animal population gave its citizens the highest per capita protein consumption in Europe or the US (105 gm per day, of which 71 gm was animal protein). Nevertheless during this period France developed a large industry making modern soy protein products such as soy isolates, concentrates, and textured soy protein.

Starting in the late 1970s, the more than 160 years of work on growing soybeans in France finally began to bear fruit. In 1976 French soybean production (of 2 tonnes) was first recorded in the FAO Production Yearbook and in 1979 it passed the "takeoff" stage, reaching 17,000 tonnes that year and 23,000 tonnes in 1981. All of these soybeans were grown in southern France, with the leading provinces being Haute Garonne, Tarn, and Gers, all near the Spanish border. Pierre Gayroud, a soybean breeder, wrote an interesting dissertation in 1977 on the "Origin and Evolution of the Soybean in Europe," using the information to help trace the origins of the soybean lines in his breeding program.

Relatively little important research on soyfoods was done during this period. In 1979, however, Bau and Debry at the University of Nancy published on soy sprouts and in 1980 did a review of traditional and modern soyfoods; they predicted that these would become increasingly important in the future.

One of the most important developments with soyfoods in France was the rise, starting in the late 1970s and early 1980s of a popular soyfoods movement, closely aligned with the macrobiotic movement. The latter flourished under the teaching of Ohsawa in Paris from 1956 to 1966. Mr. Sakaguchi and Francois Hayman were early tofu makers in Paris, Lima Foods under Pierre Gevaert made miso and shoyu in France, Bernard Storup and Jean de Preneuf joined in 1982 to form Societe Soy, a modern tofu plant and soy dairy in Cerny, and Jean Luc Alonso of Traditions du Grain introduced tempeh to France at Ivry in 1982. In the spring of 1981 Le Compas , a macrobiotic magazine, did a long cover story on soyfoods, and in 1982 Verena Krieger's article "Hier le steak, demain le tofu" was published in French. In 1982 France could boast six tofu, one tempeh, two soymilk, and five miso plants. The spirit of the 1850s to 1880s seemed to be breathing new life, drawing inspiration from Japan and America, and from traditional French food crafts such as cheese-making and wine-making.


While France pioneered in introducing soyfoods to Europe prior to World War I, Germany also did pioneering research during that early period, then led the way in making soyfoods a practical, commercial reality. Germany also led in commercializing soybean production in Eastern Europe. In total, the Germans have probably played the leading role with soybeans and soyfoods in Europe.

1691-1799 . The earliest known reference to soybeans or soyfoods in Germany was by Englebert Kaempfer (1651-1716), who played a very important role in introducing soy to the Western world. A traveler and scientist, Kaempfer visited Japan from 1690 to 1692 and in his History of Japan (1690), he mentioned that the Dutch were exporting shoyu from Japan to Holland. In 1691-92 he wrote the first detailed description in the West of the method for making shoyu and miso. At the same time he became the first Westerner to describe the soybean plant and seeds, and to illustrate them. This material was published in Germany in 1712 in his famous book Amoenitatum Exoticarum , which was written in Latin. Although between 1597 and 1705 six other Europeans had written about soyfoods (miso, soy sauce, tofu), none of them knew how these foods were produced, nor did they realize that they were made from soybeans. Thus with the publication of Kaempfer's influential and popular book in 1712 Europe understood for the first time the connection between soybeans and soyfoods, and how shoyu and miso were made. The full story of Kaempfer's life and work is given in Chapter 47.

In 1785 Bryant described the production of miso and soy sauce in East Asia. Although some of his terminology was adapted from Kaempfer (1712), his observations were apparently original, although not very detailed nor accurate.

In 1794 the German botanist Konrad Moench was the first to give the soybean a genus of its own; he classified it as Soja hispida , a term that lasted for almost a century.

1800-1899. The interest in the taxonomy of the soybean, started in Germany by Moench, continued during the 1800s. In 1845 Siebold and Zuccarini?? were the first to give a scientific name to the wild soybean ( Glycine soja ) and the first to ascribe the plant to Linnaeus' genus Glycine , where it remains today. Siebold (1796-1866) had visited Japan in 1825 and studied soybeans there. In 1869 G.M. Martens did an elaborate classification of the soybean according to seed shape, but this was of little value botanically or agronomically. In 1861 the German botanists Regal and Maack visited Manchuria, found a wild soybean species, and named it Glycine ussuriensis .

In 1872 Senft in Germany published one of the earliest chemical/nutritional analyses of soybean seeds (only Fremy's in 1855 in France was earlier), which was publicized by Haberlandt in Austria after 1877. Also in 1872 Volcker did an early proximate analysis of soybean meal, first published by Haberlandt in 1878?? Prior to 1879 one of Europe's first references to dry roasted soynuts was published in Munich; the author (first cited in 1879 by Cook in the US) was unknown.

The soybean itself was introduced into Germany at a relatively late date, and long after it was first grown in the Netherlands (1737), France (1740) England (1790), or Italy (1840). The first soybeans were probably grown in Germany in 1877 by men who collaborated with Haberlandt. It is important to note that Haberlandt's monumental work during the late 1870s, all of which was published in German, greatly stimulated interest in soybeans and soyfoods in Germany. According to Wein (1881) pioneering work with soybean cultivation in Germany (primarily in Bavaria in southern Germany) was done in the late 1870s by Prof. Julius Lehman, Director of the Bavarian Agricultural Research Station in Munich and by Prof. Braungart in Weihenstephen. They introduced the soybean primarily as a fodder plant, but bad weather in these early years hampered progress. Dr. Ernst Wein continued this work in Bavaria with much success. In 1878 he published the results of the soybean culture experiments at the Research Station. In 1879 he wrote a 20-page article on soybean cultivation in Bavaria, and in 1881 he published an excellent 50-page report of practical instructions for prospective soybean farmers and the latest compilation of his research findings. He stated that soybean culture in southern Germany had been a complete success and that soybeans have much higher yields of both protein and fats than haricots or peas. He also gave some information about soyfoods (what??), some of it from Haberlandt. Another active member of the Bavarian group was C.O. Harz, who published four articles on soybeans between 1880 and 1885. He gave an elaborate classification of the plant, based on the form of the pod (flat vs. swollen) and the shape and color of the seeds (useful??); in 1885 he reported finding some starch in fresh green soybeans.

By the 1880s German science and technology had acquired an international reputation as being the finest in the world. German scientists were much in demand in East Asia and many budding Japanese researchers aspired to have their work published in German. In East Asia the German Asiatic Society of Japan and its journal Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Natur­und Volkerkunde Ostasiens ("Communications of the German Society for Natural History and Ethnologyu in East Assia") published a great deal of valuable soyfoods research by German scientists and professors living in Japan, including Hoffmann, Ritter, Langgaard, Korschelt, Kellner, and Loew--all before 1899. Likewise many soyfoods articles in the prestigious Bulletin of the College of Agriculture of Tokyo Imperial University, starting in 1893, were published in German, and written by both Japanese and German authors. In 1874 Hoffmann wrote the first Western journal article about shoyu production. The same year Ritter wrote about yuba, tofu, and soymilk. Early German research on the shoyu mold Aspergillus oryzae was done by Korschelt (1878), Ahlburg (1878), and Cohn (1884). In 1878 Langgaard discussed tofu. And in 1897 Loew, a Professor of Agricultural Chemistry at Tokyo Imperial University, discussed shoyu production in detail, and recommended ways of modernizing the traditional Japanese process.

But of all the Germans doing original research on soy in Japan, the most remarkable was probably Dr. Oscar Kellner (1851-1911). One of the great pioneers of German agricultural chemistry (along with Liebig and Hellriegel), Kellner accepted an invitation in 1880 to teach his specialty at Tokyo Imperial University. He stayed in Japan for 12 years, married a Japanese woman, and helped to lay the foundations there of agricultural chemistry and animal nutrition (Beirem 1952). In 1886 he published on the digestibility of soybeans and soybean hay as a fodder for sheep. In 1887 Mori and Kellner studied the digestibility of diets containing tofu; this was the world's first research on soyfoods and human nutrition?? In 1888 Kellner did the world's first scientific feeding experiments using a defatted soybean meal, feeding the meal to swine in Japan. In 1889 he wrote a short article about tofu, which contained the first nutritional analysis of tofu and the West's first mention and nutritional analysis of okara (soy pulp). The same year he and two Japanese scientists published their classic 24-page article on the composition and manufacture of miso, which contained a description and nutritional analysis of four types of miso. Also in 1889 they wrote a lengthy article on koji. In 1895 Kellner wrote about the production of shoyu and miso, one of the best studies to date on koji, shoyu, and the Japanese shoyu industry. In 1908 (Ref??) he published a major work on the scientific feeding of animals which, interestingly, made only one brief mention of soybeans; the work was translated into English in 1910. (Ref??) Also in 1910 he and Neumann published further research on the use of defatted soybean meal as a feed for swine. Kellner's in-depth research on soyfoods, done on the spot in Japan at an early date, was a landmark in soyfoods history. Indeed it was the German academics teaching in Japan who gave Europe much of its first accurate knowledge on traditional Japanese soyfoods.

Starting in the early 1880s many early publications on soyfoods and soyfoods nutrition began to appear in German publications such as Chemiker-Zeitung, Chemisches Zentralblat , and Centralblatt fuer Bakteriologie , to name but a few. In 1883 Meissl and Boecker published the most extensive analysis to date of the chemical/nutritional composition of the soybean seed, and the earliest known analysis of the composition of soy oil.

In 1886 J.J. Rein, a professor of geography, wrote The Industries of Japan , based on many years of travel and research there. He stated that of all the legumes grown in China or Japan, the soybean was the most important in terms of its value, uses, and number of varieties. He described in detail the production of tofu, miso, and shoyu, mentioned the food value of mature soybeans, and was the first to compare soy and animal proteins, stating: "In point of nutriment, the soy-bean is of all vegetables nearest to meat." His book was published in English in 1899. In 1889 Schulze gave a detailed nutritional analysis of etiolated soy sprouts, the earliest known reference to soy sprouts in the West, although he was referring to soybeans sprouting in a field, not food-use sprouts.

Since the early 1800s Germany (along with France) had been a leader in European oil chemistry, technology, and production. In 1872 the first margarine plant started in Germany and from 1891 until about 1951 (except during World War II) Germany was the world's leading margarine manufacturer. In 1903 the German researcher Wilhelm Normann invented and patented the process for catalytic hydrogenation of liquid oils to make solid fats, based on the work of Sabatier and Senderens in France. Normann's invention would later revolutionize the future of soy oil around the world. Soy oil did not start to be used commercially, however, in Germany until about 1909.

In 1893 the Russian-German Bretshneider, presented extensive information on soyfoods in East Asia and was the first Westerner to link Liu An of Huai-nan with the discovery of tofu. In 1894 Schulze and Frankfurt first reported the presence of sucrose in soybeans. And in 1894 Yabe in Japan published the first information about natto in a European language (German and English). Also in 1894 the Italians de Negri and Fabris published an analysis of soy oil in German. In 1896 the outstanding article by the Dutchman H.C. Prinsen Geerligs on East Asian soyfoods (described at Netherlands, below) was published in German. It discussed tofu, tempeh, soy sauce, jiang, and okara, and contained nutritional analyses. In 1898 Fesca did a good review of the literature on soyfoods, drawing heavily on Kellner, praising tofu as a fine protein source, and noting the potential importance of soybeans and soyfoods for the German colonies. Thus by 1899 we see many excellent studies by Germans but, unlike the situation in France, little or no effort to use or even taste soyfoods, or to introduce them into the German diet. The Germans liked to analyze and investigate.

1900-1919 . Starting in the early 1900s Germany first began to import soybeans, which were used to make many special commercial diabetic foods, apparently patterned after those developed in France and England (Piper and Morse 1923).

Some of the best early research on shoyu was published in German by Japanese researchers including Saito (1906, a 3-part 47-page article) and Kita (1912, 1913). Kita's 1913 article was the most complete and detailed description of the shoyu manufacturing process and industry published to date.

Professor Loew, who taught in Japan and did an excellent article on shoyu in 1897, wrote about dried-frozen tofu in Japan in 1904, about yuba in 1906, and about soymilk in 1911. Likewise, in 1906 and 1907 Senft wrote a series of articles about Japanese vegetarian foods with special consideration for their use as long-lasting foods by the Japanese military. He discussed miso and miso pickles, natto, and dried-frozen tofu, making the earliest European link between soyfoods and war.

When the soybean import boom, led by England, began in 1908, Germany was slow to catch on, and only 670 tonnes of soybeans were imported that year; England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy all had larger soybean imports than Germany in 1908 (Li and Grandvoinnet 1912). In 1909 imports from Manchuria increased to 8,000 tonnes, then climbed rapidly after?? Germany reclassified the soybean as an oilseed rather than a legume, reaching 110,000 tonnes in 1913. In the latter year Germany briefly passed England to become Europe's leading soybean importer and crusher, producing 20,000 tons (tonnes??) of soy oil, which was used mostly in soap and margarine. In the fall of 1910 Germany also began large-scale imports of soy oil from Manchuria, and was soon Europe's leading soy oil importer. The Germans did extensive research on soy oil. In 1909 Goessel^ and Sauer patented a rubber substitute made from soy oil and in 1911 Matthes and Dahle published the first systematic analysis of the fatty acids in soy oil. The defatted soybean meal was used mainly as a livestock fodder, with research on its value being done at the Agricultural Institute in Bonn.

The import boom gave rise to renewed interest in growing soybeans in Germany, latent since the early 1880s. By 1910 the Germans were doing culture trials with soybeans in their colonies, and in 1910 Honcamp published two long reviews of the literature on soybeans and soyfoods stressing, as Fesca had done in 1898, that these had great significance for the colonies. By 1910 the seed company of Haage & Schmit in Erfurt was offering soybeans in its catalog. There were some failures at soybean cultivation in Germany (by Scole at Hohenheim, Rauch at Bamberg, and Charles Berndt at Hamsberg-Deuben in Saxony), but (as Li and Grandvoinnet noted in 1912) in each case the problem was use of very late maturing varieties originating in Japan, southern China, or India. Clearly, this problem was easy to remedy.

The abundance of soybeans in Germany after 1910 and the need to develop foods for the looming war led to Germany's first strong interest in soyfoods, especially soymilk, soy flour, and soy oil. In 1910 numerous soyfoods were displayed at the Exhibition in Dresden, perhaps by the Chinese soyfoods pioneer Li Yu-ying. Also in 1910 Lewkowitsch, one of Europe's foremost authorities on oils, published a major report on the soy oil industry. Patents and articles relating to soymilk were published by Goessel^ (1911, 1914), Loew (1911), Fischer (1914), and Fuerstenberg (1917). Apparently much research on soymilk was done on soymilk during World War I. In 1912 the Japanese Embassy in Berlin hosted a soyfoods dinner, which was attended by the Austrian scientist L. Berczeller. It impressed him so much that he devoted his life to developing soy flour and introducing it to Europe and the world. Also in 1912 H. Neumann wrote about soyfoods and their value for human nutrition. In 1913 Winkler wrote about soybeans in Manchuria and one "W" discussed the use of soyfoods by the food industry, noting that to date soybeans had been used mainly to make ersatz foods. In 1914 Grimme discussed the manufacture, composition, and uses of soymilk, tofu, soy bread, soy sauce, and other soyfoods. He encouraged Germany to make more soyfoods, citing Li Yu-ying's plant in Paris as an example of the feasibility of the idea. Luthje (1914-15) noted that digestive disturbances resulted from consuming large amounts of boiled soybeans. Stange (1914-15) and Scheiber (1915) also discussed soyfoods and their nutrition. Use of margarine (and of soy oil in margarine) increased during the war. The main criticisms of margarine and of health value of hydrogenated fats came from German scientists during this period (see Chapters 41-43).

Together with all of this research and publication, and increasingly as World War I approached, there was a sudden growth of interest in commercial soyfoods, and the first ones (other than diabetic specialty foods) started to be made and marketed. In about 1912 a company in Weller-Darmstadt and Fischer and Follman in Dresden started to make and sell soy coffee and soy-extended coffee (W. 1913). That same year the Thoerl oil mills or "Agumawerke" in Harburg began to make a low-fat expeller-extracted soy flour called Aguma Bean Flour, and a defatted solvent-extracted soy flour called Aguman, both developed and patented by Ehrhorn. Aguman was also hydrolyzed to prepare a seasoning called Suppenwurze, which could be used like beef extract as a soup base. Also just prior to the war the Soyamawerke in Frankfurt began to make Soyama, which was probably the world's first commercial whole (full-fat) soy flour, developed and patented by Dr. Gossel. It too was used as a soup base. In 1916 these various flours were being mixed with rye flour or wheat flour to make a variety of breads, biscuits, and crackers for regular and diabetic diets. Soyamawerke also did research on and produced soymilk, perhaps up to 5,000 liters a day according to several Frankfurt journals (1913 Ref??) and Fuerstenberg (1917). The milk was sold in six forms: The three milk forms were regular fresh, for diabetics, and for baking; the three cream forms were regular fresh, for diabetics, and extra rich for diabetics. The Germans also used soybeans during the war to produce glutamic acid, which was used in hospitals to form the basis of a beef-tea drink (Bowdidge 1935).

Germany used soyfoods during the war to provide a sorely needed source of protein in the diet of both civilians and the army. Of these various foods, the soy flour was by far the most extensively used. In fact, it was Europe's first really significant soy protein food, brought to prominence in the midst of crisis and war. Soy oil also played a very significant role during the war, both as a food and industry. Although Germany had stockpiled some soybeans before the war, it had not stored enough, for the Allied naval blockage of Germany from early in the war largely cut off Germany's fat supply, which eventually hurt the country noticeably.

One of the most important proponents of the soybean and soyfoods during World War I was the German scientist Maurice Fuerstenberg, who wrote two books on the subject in 1916 and 1917. His first book titled The Introduction of Soya, a Revolution in the People's Nutrition , discussed the nutritional value of the soybean. His second book, the more important of the two, was dedicated to Prof. Haberlandt of Austria. In it he first used the German term for soyfoods, Sojaspeisen , then called the soybean the "culture plant of the future," which he prophesied would "revolutionize the nutrition of humanity." He encouraged more research on soybean production in Germany, saying that the problem of low yields could be solved by using new well-adapted varieties and proper inoculation techniques. He showed that properly grown soybeans gave very high nutrient yields per hectare and per unit of money input.

1920-1939 . The war had provided a great impetus for research and practical application of soyfoods. Unfortunately, however, the foods came to be seen as ersatz or substitute products, and interest in them faded once the wartime recovery was over. One exception, however, was soy oil which began to gain in popularity, especially with the development in Germany of the world's most advanced continuous solvent extraction systems. The first of these were patented by Hermann Bollmann in 1919 and 1920 (Refs??), and by the mid-1920s, using improved desolventizing techniques, Germany passed England to become Europe's leader in solvent extraction processing and technology. Germany was also the leader in Europe in using soy oil in foods and in margarine. Most of the meal was used for livestock feeds and research was published on toxicity of meal extracted with certain solvents such as trichloroethylene. The world's first commercial production of soy lecithin began in Germany in about 1923, using a process patented that year by Bollmann. Starting in the 1920s extensive research on the therapeutic value of lecithin was published in Germany. Bollmann was issued the earliest US patents on soy lecithin in 1923 and 1928 (Ref??).

In 1923 Die Sojabohne by Kempski was published in Berlin by Paul Parey, a publisher who had done many of German's books and periodicals related to soy. An agricultural specialist in Indonesia, Kempski gave a good review of earlier sources, with emphasis on traditional and modern soyfoods. He noted that fresh and dried soymilk, fresh and dried soymilk cream, meat analogs, and soy sauce were then being made in Germany. In 1925 Ehrhorn (Ref??) of Agumawerke patented a new high-protein soy flour made from a solvent-extracted soybean meal. Said to have a very bland flavor, it served as the basis for a hydrolyzed vegetable protein extract called Sojawurze, resembling Maggi seasoning from Switzerland. Also in 1925 Fiehe discussed the food value of the soybean and soybean bread. In about 1927 Dr. Bollmann at the Hansa Mill in Hamburg invented an excellent process for making a new defatted soy flour. That same year Horvath listed nine types of soy flour made in Germany and Hungary. Nutritional research on soyfoods using human subjects was also advancing. Rubner (1928) did an important metabolic experiment on one adult using a diet of soy-rye bread (What was it?? Why important?? Results??) and Prof. Neumann, director of the Hygienic Institute in Hamburg, in 1928 did extensive and very influential metabolic experiments on adults consuming solely "soy bread," containing 20% soy flour. Another leader in the movement to encourage use of soyfoods in Germany was Professor von Noorden, co-author of the influential Handbook on Nutrition (1920), which recommended the use of soy flour, soymilk, and whole soybeans (boiled in a baking soda solution).

By 1930 a high-quality whole (full-fat) soy flour developed by the Austrian soyfoods pioneer Berczeller started to be made in Germany under license to the Hansa Muehle company in Hamburg. It was apparently sold under the name Edelsoja ("noble soy"), a term reportedly coined by Berczeller and later used for the soy flour used extensively by the German Army during World War II. Shortly after Hitler came to power in 1933, the powerful I.G. Farben-Trust acquired the license to the Berczeller patent in Germany and several other countries. Production increased steadily. In 1938 the High Command of the German Army (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) published the 71-page German Army Soya Cookbook , containing hundreds?? of recipes using Edelsoja soy flour (for details see Chapters 45 and 51). In 1936 Gray in England wrote that "In Europe, most of the scientific study of soya products is being conducted in Germany, but only a small fraction of the results has been made public since the aim has generally been the security of patents."

After World War I, German imports of soy oil, mainly from Manchuria, had increased dramatically, reaching a peak of 41,000 tonnes in 1922. Thereafter large amounts of soybeans began to be imported and crushed in German mills. By 1927 Germany had switched from a net importer to a net exporter of soy oil and in 1929 soy oil exports reached a peak of 44,000 tonnes (Fig. ??.??). The importation and crushing of soybeans in Germany continued to climb, reaching a peak of 1,187,000 tonnes of soybeans imported in 1932 (Fig. ??.??). Added to Germany's soy oil exports for the period, the country had net soy oil imports (oil plus soybeans in terms of oil) of 139,000 tonnes, by far the highest in Europe. During this peak period in the early 1930s, Germany was Europe's leading soybean importer and crusher, and second only to Manchuria worldwide. From 1929 to 1933 Germany accounted for roughly two-thirds of all European soybean imports. After 1933 German imports from Asia decreased sharply as the country, preparing for war, sought greater self sufficiency in oils and proteins by starting and promoting cultivation of soybeans in the Danubian (Balkan) countries. Summarizing the great rise in international commercial importance of the soybean during the 1920s, Langenberg in 1929 wrote a 103-page book on The Significance of the Soybean in the World Economy .

German technology for solvent extraction of oilseeds continued to be the finest in the world, and starting in the early 1930s many solvent extraction systems were ordered by foreign soybean crushers, including most of the largest US crushers.

During the 1920s relatively little work was done with soybean cultivation in Germany, except by Prof. von Boguslawski at the University of Giessen (just north of Frankfurt in central Germany, 50*30' north latitude). But there was an increase in interest in breeding soybeans for German conditions starting in 1935, with work done by Rudorf (1935), Sessous (1938), and Riede (1938). The varieties developed, however, had a very low yield and were not able to compete with other crops, in part because even southern Germany was at 47*30' north latitude, just slightly south of the Canada-USA border. A much more promising approach was found in encouraging the production of soybeans in the more southerly Danubian (Balkan) countries for import to Germany. There, especially in Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria, but also in Yugoslavia and Austria, soybeans started to be grown on a fairly large scale starting in 1933. In 1935 the Germans (primarily two companies) helped spur production by distributing selected soybean seeds and inocula, and guaranteeing a specified and very attractive price for the soybeans from a contracted acreage. Soybean production in the Danubian countries skyrocketed, reaching a peak of 125,000 tonnes in 1941. German soybean breeders, including a remarkable woman named Lene Mueller^, did extensive varietal development during this period; some of those varieties were resuscitated starting in the 1970s.

One of Hitler's first acts after coming to power in 1933 was to plan a huge soybean reserve in Germany to protect the country from the severe oil and protein deficits that had occurred during World War I. Prior to World War II the soybean reserve in Germany had reached roughly 1,000,000 tonnes (Hodges 1943; Arnould 1960). The bulk of this reserve came from imports from Manchuria, since imports from Danubian countries were, by comparison, quite small (Fig. 2.??). When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, starting World War II, Hitler considered his soybean reserves more than adequate.

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