History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Europe (incl. Eastern Europe and the USSR (1597 - Mid 1980s) - Part 5

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A Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and Soyfoods: 1100 B.C. to the 1980s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

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There were a surprisingly large number of references to soyfoods by Swedish travelers and botanists during the 1700s. In 1737 the great Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus, in his Hortus Cliffortianus , described soybeans grown in the garden of George Clifford at Hartecamp, the Netherlands. This was the first record of soybean cultivation in Europe. In 1751 Osbeck, during a visit to China, described tofu and soy sauce, noting that Japanese soy sauce was better but more expensive than Chinese. In 1764 the Swedish captain C.G. Ekeberg wrote a 3-page article about Chinese soy sauce. In 1775-76 the Swedish botanist and doctor Carl P. Thunberg visited Japan. In his Voyages , published in French in 1796, he discussed Japanese shoyu and miso, and mentioned soybeans.

We do not hear of soybeans in Sweden again until the early 1900s. In about 1909 imports began from East Asia and that year Hanssen (sp??), from an agricultural experiment station in Sweden, did tests on soybean cake and published unfavorable reports in Swedish and German (Hansson 1910). Sweden, whose first margarine plant started in 1884, soon began using some soy oil in margarine, although marine (whale) oils predominated. Since the early 1900s Sweden has had one of the highest per capita consumptions of margarine in Europe (see Chapter 43).

By 1923 Sweden was importing substantial amounts of soybeans and soy oil. Annual soybean imports for the 5 years from 1923 averaged 65,000 tonnes a year, while soy oil imports averaged 4,600 tonnes. For the period 1929-33, Sweden had Europe's fourth largest total apparent consumption of soy oil, 12,700 tonnes,and fifth largest of soybean meal, 73,200 tonnes. The figures for the period 1934-38 were 118,000 tonnes of soybeans including 15,800 tonnes for oil and 69,000 tonnes for meal.

One of Europe's great soybean breeders was Dr. Sven A. Holmberg. In the mid 1930s he began to devote much of his time to breeding soybeans, trying to find a type that could be adapted to the extreme northern latitudes, cold temperatures, maritime climate, and long summer days of northern Europe. He studied soybean breeding in the USA in 1938 and in 1939-40 made his first expedition to Japan and Sakhalin. He had noticed similarities between southern Sweden and Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island and main soybean growing area, which is the only place in the world where soybeans are grown as a major crop in a relatively cool and partly marine climate; the latitude, however, is about 43*N, far south of the village of Fiskeby, near the city of Norrkoping^ (58*30'N) where Holmberg was working. Fiskeby was many degrees above the most northerly latitudes in which the soybean is known to flourish (45*N). In 1940 Holmberg brought home a collection of soybean strains from Hokkaido and over the next 15 years he bred a line of cold-adapted soybeans, which he called the Fiskeby series. In 1941 the Swedish Government Food Commission distributed seed of three early foreign soybean varieties for practical growing trials to farmers in the provinces of Oland and Gotland. In 1943 the Commission (Ref??) reported that yields were so low that the crop could not be considered economical. Nevertheless breeding of soybeans was pursued with government support both at Svalof^ (Swedish Seed Assoc.) and at Fiskeby (Algot Holmberg Seeds Ltd.). In 1947 Holmberg made a breakthrough in developing the first known day-neutral soybean strains, whose flowering would not be affected by the latitude at which they were grown (Whisker 1977). Holmberg felt that thereafter it would be cold temperatures rather than photoperiod that would draw the final northern limit of soybean growing. In 1949 Fiskeby III, an edible type of soybeans, was released by Algot Holmberg Ltd. The mean yield for Swedish-grown Fiskeby soybeans from 1945 to 1954 was 1,576 kg/ha (23.3 bu/a) while the high (in 1953) was an impressive 2,266 kg/ha (33.5 bu/a). In 1950 (Ref??) Holmberg reported on his work in the Journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture, and in 1956 in World Crops (Ref??). By the latter date he had made some 2,700 hybridizations with Japanese germplasm, followed by selection for adaptation.

In 1957 Holmberg returned to East Asia to collect more breeding material, then in 1970 he made a third expedition to Siberia and Japan. In the meantime he studied soybean breeding in the USA and Canada and learned that his strains had been used in North American breeding programs. The most important varieties bred by Holmberg are Fiskeby V, Bravalla^, and Traff^. During the 1970s the Fiskeby V became well known throughout northern Europe; it was grown by soybean breeder Ray Whisker in England since 1969 (see UK). In Sweden soybeans were found to grow best in the driest corner of the country, the Kalmar-Oland region.

Dr. Holmberg's greatest interest was in using soybeans to make soyfoods. Dr. Holmberg, then head of the Holmberg Soybean Breeding Institute in Fiskeby, passed away on 10 November 1981 at the age of 87. A friend wrote: "Sven Holmberg has done the fundamental work with soya bean for northern Europe. The inheritors of his material and his ideas will have to fulfill his work. This is the best way to honor the man who devoted himself so enthusiastically and so intelligently to the breeding of the soya bean in the North" ( Soybean News , April 1982). His accomplishments are held in high respect by soybean breeders worldwide.

In the postwar period, soybean imports to Sweden remained very small, typically 3,000 tonnes a year. But oil imports were large. Beginning in 1957 with 1,300 tonnes they grew rapidly to 10,000 tonnes in 1960, 37,000 tonnes in 1970, and 62,000 tonnes in 1980, at which time Sweden was the fifth largest soy oil importer in Europe. Sweden also imported a modest amount of soybean meal, roughly 150,000 tonnes a year during the 1960s and 200,000 tonnes during the 1970s.

Sweden is the home of two large companies that have played a major role in world soymilk production: Tetra Pak International (which makes continuous filling-and-sealing machines and a revolutionary aseptic packaging system) and Alfa Laval (which makes soymilk manufacturing systems). The history of both companies whose work with soymilk dates from the late 1960s, is given in Chapter 27, Soymilk.

Interest in low-technology soyfoods increased starting in the late 1870s. In 1977 Andersson et al. wrote an article about tempeh. Semper A.B. made soymilk infant formula, from soy protein isolates. Ted Nordquist and Tim Ohlund^, both Americans, did pioneering work with tofu. Nordquist, born in California, had gotten interested in tofu as early as 1976, when he started to make wooden tofu boxes in California. He returned to Sweden, where he had done university work and in February 1981, with Ohlund^, who was interested in fermented soyfoods, started Sweden's first tofu company, Aros Sojaprodukter in Orsundsbro. By mid-1981 they were selling 360 kg of tofu and 1,080 tofu burgers each week, plus some soymilk. In January they had started the first branch of the International Soyinfo Center Network, and in July they published Europe's first tofu book, Tofu Boken . The work with tofu received widespread media publicity starting in August 1980 and included a long article (in color) in the March 1981 issue of Halsa magazine (Ref??). Aros published tofu recipe booklets, a catalog of soyfoods-related books and other products. The subtitle on its letterhead read "A Company with a Wholistic (sp??)/Global Perspective." By 1983 they were . . .


The only landlocked country in Western Europe, Switzerland had no great early navigators and so made no early mentions of East Asian soyfoods. However during the 1870s Professor Albert Langgaard, who was probably Swiss (why think so??) and who taught at Tokyo University in Japan, took a great interest in shoyu and even visited the town of Noda and Choshi to study its manufacture. In 1878 he devoted several sentences to it (called it "shoyu") in an article on tofu. Some Japanese shoyu historians (Tamura and Hirano 1971) believe that when Langgaard returned home to Switzerland he helped with the development of a soy sauce there.

In 1877 cooperators of Haberlandt in Austria-Hungary grew the first soybeans in Switzerland. They continued to be grown during the late 1800s and from time to time after that, especially during wartime, but wider propagation was restricted by lack of research on adaptation of varieties.

It is known that in 1886 the firm Julius Maggi & Co. in Kempttal became the first company in Europe to make a soy-sauce-like seasoning, which also contained the world's first hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) (Olsman 1979). It is not known whether or not this sauce was made using soybeans as an ingredient, or when (if ever) soybeans were used as an ingredient. This may well have been the sauce that Japanese shoyu historians think Prof. Langgaard helped to develop. More research is needed to clear up this mystery.

In 1889 Schulze and Steiger in Zurich published the earliest known reference to the presence of lecithin in soybeans . . . Additional work by Schulze and Frankfurt on soy lecithin was published in 1894.

Prior to 1897 Europe's first commercial miso started to be manufactured in Switzerland. In that year the American Langworthy published a nutritional analysis of this miso and in 1907 the German Senft wrote that "Recently the firm of Jul. Maggi & Co. in Kempthal has begun to make and market a type of miso."

Soy coffee was probably introduced to Switzerland by the late 1800s, for in 1907 Bloch in France reported the results of an analysis done by Kornauth (no citation) on the composition of a sweetened soy coffee used in Switzerland.

One of Switzerland's earliest soyfoods manufacturing companies was Morga, which was founded in 1930 in Ebnat-Kappel as a family business. From the beginning until 1946 their main products were a line of soy specially foods such as ?? Over the years their line of soyfoods expanded with the company until in 1982 they were selling some 200 natural foods including the following soyfoods, most of which they also made in Switzerland: Sojamalt (roasted soy flour with malt, with or without sugar, for use like coffee), four types of soy-fortified whole-grain pastas, three soy-fortified biscuits, whole and defatted soy flour, soy flakes, whole dry soybeans (yellow or green), soy-fortified chips, soy-vegetable sandwich, shoyu, soya-bouillon cubes, and cold-pressed soy oil. Their attractive color catalog described these foods.

As early as 1950 Switzerland was importing roughly 2,500 tonnes a year of soy oil, and by the 1970s and early 1980s this figure had increased to about 3,500 tonnes, still very small. Switzerland preferred butter. Imports of soybean meal were also small, reaching 50,000 tonnes during the mid-1970s, but dropping to only 15,000 tonnes in 1980. Soybean imports, however, which first became significant in about 1970 (with 16,000 tonnes that year), grew dramatically during the 1970s, hitting 82,000 tonnes in 1980, which was still one of the smallest figures in Western Europe. In 1981 soybean imports from the USA alone reached 111,000 tonnes.

During this period Switzerland, plagued with overproduction of milk and meat, developed a clearly stated policy to encourage expansion of farm crops. In 1968 a Prof. E. Keller (Ref??) aroused interest in growing soybeans in Switzerland and from that time a Swiss seed company began working with a US soybean breeding company. Their work led to the development of a line of soybean variety named Swissoy, which were adapted to Switzerland, despite the problems of short day length and cold. In 1973 the US soybean embargo awakened Switzerland to its heavy dependence on America as the main protein supplier for its livestock-based economy. In 19?? Edgar W. Schweizer had founded a Union of Swiss Soybean Growers (VSSP, Vereinigung Schweizerischer Soja-Produzenten). In 1976, following the US embargo, they petitioned Swiss research establishments to put into action a comprehensive program of research on soybean cultivation. This was done but due to lack of money and personnel the program was discontinued. In 1977 Schweizer wrote a major article about efforts at soybean cultivation in Switzerland, but shortly thereafter died unexpectedly. The grower's union became inactive. In early 1981, however, a new impetus was given to soybean cultivation in Switzerland, with Nestle^ helping to finance an almost dormant research project by a Swiss federal agricultural station to develop new soybeans adapted to Switzerland.

Nestle^, a Swiss firm founded in 1866 to make infant milk foods, was the first European company to make and market soymilk internationally. In 1979 Nestle^ introduced Bonus brand soymilk (not infant formula) in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. By 1980 Nestle^ was selling powdered soymilk in Malaysia and the Philippines, thus becoming the first company to market soymilk regionally in Southeast Asia.

Starting in the early 1980s a new interest in soyfoods arose in Switzerland, drawing some of its inspiration from the soyfoods/soycrafters movement in the USA and some from the Swiss natural/health foods movement with its emphasis on organic ( biologische ) farming and pure foods sold at a chain of stores called Reformhauser . Two young people who did pioneering work in introducing soyfoods to Switzerland were Walter Daenzer and Verena Krieger. In 1981 Daenzer, a disciple of the Indian spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy, wrote Switzerland's first book on soyfoods, titled Soya-Eiweiss: Nahrung der Zukunft ("Soy Protein: Food of the Future," 82 pp.). It focused on textured soy protein (especially TVP) but also discussed the larger picture of soybeans and soyfoods, giving information on history, nutrition, vegetarian recipes, world hunger, and soycrafting as a spiritual practice. Surprisingly with his emphasis on purity in foods, he failed to mention that textured soy protein is made by extracting the oil from soybeans using hexane, a toxic solvent, which is later removed from the meal. In 197?? Daenzer founded a soyfoods company called Soyana in Zurich, which made tofu and also sold TVP and soyfoods books. In 1982 Daenzer's second book was published: Tofu, die Einladung ins Schlaraffenland ("Tofu, introduction to Paradise"). This fine 97-page work, containing excellent information and 100 recipes, did much to help introduce tofu to Switzerland. A French translation was published the same year.

The other person who did pioneering work with soyfoods in Switzerland was Verena Krieger in Luzern. In the late 1970s she worked at a natural foods vegetarian restaurant near Chicago, Illinois, where tempeh and tofu were made frequently. ?? who made ?? Verena?? In June 1979 she and her husband?? returned to their native Switzerland and began work that led to the entry of soyfoods into the modern Swiss consciousness and Swiss kitchens. The first turning point came in August 1981, when her major article, "Yesterday Steak, Tomorrow Tofu" with many color photos, was published in Tages Anzeiger , a Sunday magazine which is respectable, progressive, and very widely read. (The article was later published in German, French, Italian, and Spanish.) Anticipating a wave of interest, Krieger hastily set up a tofu shop, Sojalade, in Luzern, and soon was also selling tofu kits. Two months later Swiss national TV did a 30-minute prime-time show on soybeans and soyfoods, using much basic information from the German edition of The Book of Tofu by Shurtleff and Aoyagi. On the program Krieger presented a meal of five tofu dishes suited to Swiss tastes. After that tofu became the darling of the Swiss media. Krieger also wrote many other excellent, major articles about soyfoods including "Une Graine pour l'An 2000" (Jaccard and Krieger 1982), "The Thousand Talents of Tofu" (1982), to mention but a few. Based on her work Fuer uns Aktuell (Ref??) published two long articles about tofu and soyfoods in June and July, 1982. In most of these articles all the basic traditional, low technology soyfoods were introduced accompanied by numerous color photographs. Sojalade also published pamphlets on tofu and tofu recipes. By mid-1982 the company, a co-op with nine members, was small but growing. It was making about 1,000 pounds of tofu a week and selling most of it in Zurich at natural and health food stores. They had started contracting with local farmers to grow soybeans organically. Krieger was writing a cookbook of international and Swiss tofu recipes, and planning one on tempeh.

Soyfoods work was advancing very nicely and in the summer of 1982 two Swiss seed companies were able to report that soybeans as a garden crop were becoming extremely popular. Switzerland could boast a total of seven tofu shops, three of which were small, located in restaurants, but larger ones were run by Marty Halsey (an American) and Rudi Opplinger. Macrobiotic influence in introducing and promoting soyfoods was also strong. Restaurant Sesam in Bern made tofu and had soyfoods on the menu. Krieger and Opplinger were also interested in macrobiotics.


(England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland)

The UK, together with France and Germany, has been one of the three most important countries in Europe concerning soybeans and soyfoods.

1613-1799 . Many of the earliest Western references to soyfoods were made by British travelers, in fact five of the eight known references made prior to 1710. British sailors, both explorers and traders, became famous at an early date and many traveled to Asia, where they came in contact with soyfoods.

The earliest?? known reference to soyfoods by a Britisher or in the English language was in 1613, when Captain John Saris, in his log describing a visit to Japan, mentioned tofu (Satow 1900). In 1679 John Locke, the English philosopher, mentioned in his journals that soy sauce, imported from the East Indies, was available at a particular restaurant in London (King 1858). In 1688 Dampier described soy sauce in Japan, giving it the name "soy," which stuck for almost 250 years. In 1696 Ovington praised the flavor of soy sauce in western India. During the 1600s and 1700s the British, operating as the East India Company, had slowly gained increasing political and economic control of India and soy sauce was imported to their trading stations in India from Japan, then transshipped to England. In 1705 the English botanist Dale, who had studied the soybean in Japan, reported that European pharmacologists were familiar with Japanese soybeans and with the culinary value of soy sauce.

The British were the first people in Europe to take a serious interest in soy sauce, which became the first popular soyfood in Europe. By the mid-1700s Japanese soy sauce (shoyu) was probably quite popular in England (see Chapter 34) and by the late 1700s it started to be used as the basis for a host of table sauces.

In 1790?? soybeans were first grown in Great Britain in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, but merely as a botanical curiosity (Aiton 1812).

1800-1899. Soy sauce must have been quite popular in England in the early 1800s. The poet Lord Byron (1788-1824 Ref??) noted that travelers were accustomed to "eat their salmon, at the least, with soy." Between the late 1700s and mid-1800s various British food and seasoning companies and many British families began to develop a host of table sauces based on soy sauce plus other piquant ingredients. One of the most popular of the commercial sauces was Harvey's, which was introduced in the late 1700s and reached its peak of popularity after 1850. In about 1838 Lea & Perrins introduced a soy-based sauce, which by the 1880s had become known as the famous Worcestershire sauce. These sauces were widely used in homes and on ships; do-it-yourself recipes were found in many cookbooks of the period. The soy sauce to make them was probably imported to England by the British East India Company and/or Crosse & Blackwell, initially probably from India and after 1870 probably directly from Japan. By the 1870s soy sauces had spread out from England over the continent of Europe.

British botanists during the 1800s took an active interest in the soybean. In 1832 Roxburgh, in the earliest known reference to the soybean in India, described a variety growing in the Calcutta Botanical Garden. In 1864 and 1865 Bentham first arranged the genus Glycine to closely approximate its present organization. Later Watt (1890), Hooper (1911, 1912 Ref??) and Woodhouse and Taylor (1913) discussed soybeans in India.

In 1878 and 1881 Atkinson, an Englishman and Professor of Analytical and Applied Chemistry at Tokyo University, wrote several early articles on koji and its use in making shoyu (and sake) in Japan.

In 1879 Prof. Edward Kinch of Cirencester gave a nutritional analysis of shoyu and discussed the amount of shoyu produced in Japan and its uses in England and America. In 1882 he published the first chemical/nutritional analysis of miso (two types) plus analyses of tofu, frozen tofu, and defatted soybean meal. It is not known how he got this information, which he published in German. (Recheck both??)

Prior to 1882 (Ref??) there was an article on soybeans in the London Gardener's Chronicle . In 1885 The Vegetable Garden by Vilmorin-Andrieux & Co. in Paris was published in an English translation with good information about growing soybeans. Apparently, then, the soybean was attracting interest as a garden vegetable.

In 1886 the British etymologists Yule and Burnell published Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases ; a second edition was published in 1903. This work contained six early references to soy sauce or shoyu, five of them prior to 1800, plus an etymology of the words "soy" and "shoyu."

1900-1919. In about 1900 soybeans were first imported to England by a local firm and used as a starch-free food in diabetic diets. Interest in this concept continued, for in 1909 the American Carson wrote: "Some of the leading English physicians have given much recognition to the (soy) bean as an article of helpful diet in cases of diabetes; it has also been prescribed in certain of the large public hospitals for the same disease."

In 1901 A. Hosie wrote an important book on Manchuria, in which he discussed soybeans and soyfoods at length. He made the first reference to soy oil in English and gave a detailed discussion of the manufacture of soymilk and tofu. In 1904 Lewkowitsch, in his famous book on oils and fats, published in London, gave detailed information on the physical and chemical constants of soy oil.

England was the first nation in Europe to begin large-scale imports of soybeans. Recall that shoyu or soy sauce and small amounts of soybeans for food purposes were already being imported. The first large soybean imports were made in 1907 by an oilseed crusher in Liverpool from Hankow, China. At this time there were soybean surpluses in China and Manchuria and the prices of linseed and cottonseed were extremely high in Europe (see Chapter 40). The crushing tests were successful; the first oil was used to make soap and the oil was used in mixed livestock feeds. Thereafter soybean imports to England increased rapidly from 40,600 tonnes (or perhaps as much as 60,900 tonnes; Li and Grandvoinnet 1912) in 1908 to 411,500 tonnes in 1909, then to a peak of 419,900 tonnes in 1910. Starting in 1909 Germany and in 1911 Denmark and the Netherlands followed England's lead and began to import large quantities of soybeans. England was Europe's leading soybean importer until 1913, when Germany took the lead. After 1910, soybean imports to the UK steadily fell, as competing oilseed prices returned to normal and the country approached and entered World War II. In 1918 imports reached a low of 25,000 tonnes before they started to rebound (Page 1920).

In 1911 the UK first began to export soy oil (40 tonnes) to the Continent; by 1913 soy oil exports had reached a peak of 3,250 tonnes. Thereafter they fell until by 1917 UK was importing 3,500 tonnes of oil, rising to 30,100 tonnes in 1919 (Page 1920).

As soybean imports mounted, attempts to grow soybeans in England were started in 1909. However tests then and in 1914 and 1916 gave poor results and the idea was largely abandoned. One of the pioneers in this field, Mr. J.L. North, who started growing soybeans in England in 1913, eventually produced good results in the mid-1930s, as discussed later. Starting in about 1910?? the British (especially British oil firms such as Lever Brothers) began testing soybean culture in their West African colonies (Gambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana) and in South Africa. Here, too, however, results were not very promising.

England quickly learned how to make good use of soy oil and meal, for the country had a long history of innovation and leadership in the oilseed crushing industry. The hydraulic press had been invented in England in 1795 and solvent extraction in 1856. The great milling cities of Liverpool and Hull were well equipped to deal with new oilseeds. The main traditional oilseeds were linseed, cottonseed (imported), and rapeseed (small amounts of which were grown in England). The success of soy oil and soybean meal exceeded all expectations, and much of the early research and development work was done in England. A large amount of the early soy oil was used by Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight in making their well-known Sunlight Soap. In March 1909 L.E. Common (Ref??) of the Hull Manufacturing Co. was granted a patent on an improved process for making soy oil. As early as 1910 refined soy oil was being used in large amounts in English foods, mixed with cottonseed oil as a basic low-cost vegetable oil, packed with canned sardines, and added to margarine oil blends. By 1910 it was estimated that one-third of the frying oil in London kitchens was soy oil, which had replaced cottonseed oil. In 1909 Gilchrist at Armstrong College did the earliest study in Europe using defatted soybean meal in livestock feeds; similar studies were published soon thereafter in 1909 at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, England (Ref??), and in 1910 by Bruce in Scotland. All showed that soybean meal was of good quality for milk or beef production. In 1916 Stockman did the first report on the toxicity of soybean meal extracted with trichloroethylene solvent. (What did it say??).

The earliest known reference to the use of soy oil in margarine in Europe appeared in England in 1910, where it was found to be a "striking success" as a substitute for coconut oil. In the early 1900s England began to play an increasingly important role in the European margarine industry. Initially all of England's margarine was imported from the Netherlands and Denmark, but in 1889 the country's first margarine plant was built at Godley, Manchester, by the Dane Otto Monsted. The extremely important process of catalytic hydrogenation of oils had been invented in 1902 by Normann, a German living in England. The ownership of or first license to the patent was Joseph Crosfield & Sons Ltd. in Warrington, where, in 1906, the process of hydrogenating oils was first put into commercial practice. It was probably not until much later that soy oil was hydrogenated for use in margarine. In 1913 Monsted wrote the first book about the British margarine industry. That year British production of margarine began to increase dramatically and in 1914 Britain passed the Netherlands to become the world's second largest margarine producer, after Germany, a position that was held until the mid-1940s when she was passed by the USA.

Soy flour also began to be used in the early 1900s. In 1910 the earliest known patent for soy flour was granted in England to Li Yu-ying, the Chinese soyfoods pioneer in Paris. By 1911 small amounts of defatted soybean cake were being ground to a flour and used by English firms to fortify breads and biscuits (Sawer 1911). By 1916 a product called Soya Flour, a mixture of 25% soy flour and 75% wheat flour, was being marketed commercially and used by bakers in making soy bread (Piper and Morse 1916).

In 1909 Liardet wrote a 14-page booklet entitled A New British Industry: Soya Beans , and in 1910 she?? followed with a 27-page booklet entitled Soya Beans ; both were published in Liverpool. In 1911 Norman Shaw, an English customs official in Manchuria, wrote The Soya Bean of Manchuria , a detailed 32-page report that helped the English to understand where their massive imports were coming from and how. He also discussed various Chinese soyfoods, including jiang (miso).

In January 1911 The Lancet , Britain's prestigious medical journal, published an article on "The Soya Bean" from their correspondent in China. It mentioned tofu and soymilk, praised the value of soyfoods in diabetic diets, and gave the nutritional composition of various soyfoods.

Soymilk was first manufactured in England in 1912. Called Solac, it was made in London by the Solac Company, apparently also referred to as the Synthetic Milk Syndicate. In 1915, in the first full British article on soymilk, The Lancet noted that Solac looked and tasted very much like milk. One apparent key to the flavor was the use of a lactic culture. The okara from the soymilk was used to make bread. During 1916 and 1917 the Englishman Melhuish was granted six soymilk patents in various countries; he also made an early acidophilus soymilk.

In 1935 the British writer Bowdidge noted that just before World War I " . . . an enterprising English firm was making great strides with soya products. Vegetable butter, biscuits, cocoa, milk chocolates and other confectionery, cream, cakes, bread, etc., proved quite a success until a war-time embargo placed upon the importation of soya beans put a stop to the business; the organizers eventually went to America!" Unfortunately Bowdidge failed to mention the name of the company and its organizers. Was it the Solac Company?? Or could it have been Dr. Fearn?? (see Chapter 59). Little is known about the use of soyfoods in England during World War I, other than the implications of the above statement.


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