History of Soy Flour, Grits, Flakes, and Cereal-Soy Blends - Part 2

by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi\


A Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and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

©Copyright 2004 Soyfoods Center, Lafayette, Californi

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Between Two Wars (1920-1939) . During these 2 decades, soy flour became increasingly popular in Europe, largely as a low-cost protein source used in response to a series of crises: the great Soviet famines and the general European economic recession of the early 1920s, the Great Depression of the early 1930s, and the preparation for World War II in the late 1930s. In 1923 Piper and Morse noted that "The use of soy flour for human food has become important in several European countries during the last few years." Much experience was gained during World War I, but perhaps the most important reason for the growing popularity of soy flour was the work of Dr. Laszlo Berczeller.

Dr. Berczeller, a Hungarian-born food physiologist, was one of the foremost pioneers of soyfoods, especially soy flour, in Europe. His life and work are described in Chapter 51. In about 1920 Berczeller began to do research on soy flour in Vienna. In 1921 he published the first of many scientific articles on the subject and was granted the first of numerous patents worldwide on soy flour. From 1923 on he devoted his life to researching and popularizing soy flour. In April 1923 a Viennese baker started to make "soy bread," fortified with 20% soy flour, which was probably a whole (full-fat) soy flour made by Berczeller's newly patented method. By July 1923 the baker's output had leaped to 10,000 loaves a day ( New York Times 1923).

Soon many experts across Europe were proclaiming Berczeller's soy flour to be a major breakthrough, by far the best such product available, with an excellent bland, slightly nutty flavor (free of all beany flavors) and good stability; it would keep for 1-2 years at room temperature without becoming rancid. It was also shown to be more nutritious than defatted soy flours. From 1923 on scores of scientific and popular articles were written in Europe (and America; see Chapter 51) praising Berczeller's soy flour. Berczeller wrote and traveled extensively to promote his product, meeting with the heads of various nations, going to the USSR in 1926 to help start a soyfoods industry there, and compiling testimonials for his product. Rarely has a more effective promotional campaign for any soyfood ever been launched. In the late 1920s "He started bombarding governments, scientific institutions, prominent men all over Europe, and even the League of Nations, with letters and scientific papers and pamphlets, describing the extraordinary value of his product" (Prinz 1944). By 1928 he had coined the German term Edelsoja for his soy flour, and by 1929 the English term Soyolk. In 1929 Ferree wrote an 80-page book about Berczeller and his soy flour. Berczeller found people with money, who formed companies for making and selling his flour, first in Austria (1923) and Hungary (by 1926 or 1927), then in the Netherlands, England (1929), Germany, Czechoslovakia, and finally the USA (1929-30). Although Berczeller's manufacturing process was carefully protected by patents, a number of companies that had licensed the process from him refused (for various reasons) to pay him his licensing fees, which led him to much grief and many lawsuits. As World War II approached, interest in and production of Berczeller's soy flour increased. It played a major role in Nazi Germany's food program throughout the war, and was the subject of the German Army Soya Cookbook (Oberkommando 1938). As a Jew, Berczeller was forced to flee Germany during the war. He hid in France but emerged malnourished, and died poor and unknown in 1955. Yet his work had made good-quality soy flour known to millions throughout Europe, where it came to be the continent's most popular soyfood during his lifetime.

Because Berczeller did most of his early work in Vienna, Austria became an early leader in work with soy flour, with use in breads starting in 1923. Berczeller applied for Austrian patents for debittered soy flour in 1927 and 1929 (Ref??). In 1930, Richter, baking expert at the Nutrition Laboratory of Vienna, wrote that soy flour "has come into general use on the Continent, particularly in Austria, where it is a regular ingredient of breads, rolls, cakes and all forms of smalls." Details on the status of soy flour in Austria during this period are given in Chapter 51.

Like Berczeller, Dr. A.A. Horvath, a Russian-born scientist, did much during the 1920s and 1930s to disseminate both scientific and popular information about the value of soy flour. In 1927 he published an excellent overview of the soy flour situation in Europe, including details of Berczeller's work. He listed nine types of soy flour produced in Germany and Hungary. The Bollmann soy flour process, developed in 1927 by Dr. Bollmann and used by the huge firm Hansa Muehle in Hamburg, involved first mechanically pressing soy flakes, extracting any remaining oil with benzine or gasoline solvent, then finally milling the presscake into a flour that contained 51% protein and only 0.1% fat. Horvath felt that the Bollmann process would be good for converting all of China's defatted soybean meal into soy flour for use in human foods. . . if only the price of gasoline were lower! Yet he also noted that Bollmann's defatted soy flour "does not contain lecithin or fat-soluble vitamin, and its biological value is therefore much inferior to soybean flour prepared from whole beans." In 1931, in "Soy Flour as a National Food," Horvath did a comprehensive update on his earlier article, with extensive new information on Berczeller, soy flour in England, and new applications, including in ice cream. His subsequent work with soy flour was done mostly in America (see Chapter 60).

During the 1920s and 1930s Germany was Europe's leader in soy flour production and utilization. The early uses in diabetic breads, biscuits, and crackers continued, but increasingly soy flour was used to fortify and extend regular breads. The two most popular soy flours in Germany during the 1920s were the Hansa Muehle defatted flour and the Berczeller whole soy flour. By 1920 the first in-vitro digestibility experiments done by Schmidt using Hansa Muehle flour showed that its protein was 94.9% digestible. Experiments from 1923 on showed similar high digestibility for Berczeller's flour (Neumann 1928). As mentioned previously, a bread containing 10% of Hansa Muehle defatted soy flour was fairly widely used in northern Germany starting in 1920, during the difficult postwar years. In the mid-1920s Von Noorden and Lampe of Elberfelder Farbwerke introduced a patented Sarton brand soy flour (Horvath 1927) and Fiehe (1925) wrote about "soy bread." In 1927 Schmalfuss and Treu showed that methyl-n-nonyl-ketone, located in the outer layer of soybean cotyledons, was responsible for some of the beany flavor in soy flour, but could be removed by steam distillation. In 1928 Prof. Neumann, Director of the Governmental Hygiene Institute at Hamburg, the largest institute of its kind in Germany, published extensive and carefully designed nitrogen-balance metabolism experiments using both humans and rats consuming various breads fortified with 20% of various soy flours or soybeans. He found high protein utilization, and Berczeller's whole soy flour gave a significantly better nitrogen balance; rats lived twice as long on it than on defatted flour. Also in 1928 Rubner reported on another metabolic experiment in which one person was fed soy-fortified rye bread (15.9% protein, with butter and coffee) for 5 days. The soy protein was found to be extremely well digested (93%). He concluded that such a bread should be highly recommended because of its nutritional value, appearance, flavor, and long shelf life.

In 1930 Hansa Muehle published a booklet on Soja , in which they gave an analysis of their flour (52.2% protein, 1.2% fat, 6.0% ash, 7.6% moisture), its digestibility (93% vs. 82% for wheat flour), and its cost per kg of digestible protein (3% that of eggs, 4% that of beef, and 9% that of milk; du Toit 1932). In 1932 the firm Edelsoja ("Noble Soy") was founded in Hamburg by Dr. Hans Weiss and friends, and run by Walter Klein. It sold Berczeller's whole soy flour and is still the leading seller of whole soy flour in Germany.

By the late 1930s, soy flour was already playing an important part in Germany's war plans. The food campaigns were mapped out as carefully as the military campaigns. Knowing that their country could not be self-sufficient in animal proteins during the impending war, the German leaders planned whole soy flour as a replacement, and continued to work to improve its quality. Much of the soy flour made in Germany from 1934 to 1944 was made from soybeans imported from Eastern Europe (see Chapter 12).

One of the most important early uses of the Edelsoja whole soy flour, procured by the Wehrmacht, was in the so-called "Nazi Food Pills," which were actually highly nutritious biscuits, each about 5 by 7.5 by 0.6 cm thick (2 x 3 by 1/4 inch thick). First developed in the mid-1930s and used in lightweight antifatigue rations by soldiers on the march, they contained 22% protein, most of it from soy flour (Doig 1943). The German air ministry had also made a soy ration to be used as a quick energy builder on long flights; it contained dextrose, cocoa, meat extract, and soy flour. Indeed the German military command was systematically and scientifically designing Blitz rations to matched their mechanized Blitz war machine.

In September 1938 the German Army High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) in Berlin published the German Army Soya Cookbook: Formulation of Menus Including Edelsoja Whole Soy Flour, with Recipes . Edelsoja ("pure soy flour" was referred to generically as a Vollsojamehl (whole soy flour). The introduction to the 71-page book explained basic principles of using whole soy flour and grits to extend meats, reduce added fats, and substitute for eggs and milk. Of the 262 recipes for use in Army Field Kitchens, more than 100 contained small amounts of soy flour and a few contained larger amounts. A typical one-person serving contained 5 gm of soy flour and a typical weekly allotment contained 30 gm. Many recipes contained meat, but some were meatless. The soy flour was used in soups, sauces and gravies, stews, scrambled eggs, cutlet breadings, pasta, one-dish meals, and desserts. Nutritional information was emphasized. Edelsoja was presented as a concentrated source of protein, containing 89 gm of protein per 1,000 calories, more than eggs (75), milk (50) and wheat flour (32), but less than lean beef (171). One kg of Edelsoja was nutritionally equivalent to 54 eggs, 2.5 kg of lean beef, or 7.5 kg of milk. One heaping tablespoon was equal in protein and oil to one egg. It was especially rich in lecithin (a "nerve food") and vitamin B. The Army High Command emphasized that since animals return as food only 20% of the nutrients consumed from plants, a reduction in animal products was desirable for economic reasons. The High Command noted that it had issued other recipes using soy flour prior to the publication of the Soya Cookbook (Oberkommando 1938; Soybean Digest 1941). As the Nazi invasion of Eastern Europe began in 1938, soy flour helped German commissaries to be well prepared.

During the late 1930s the Germans developed a type of meatless hamburgers called "bratlings," made from cereal grains, yeast, and whole soy flour. They were apparently relished by soldiers and civilians alike. By 1941, however, as soybean stocks ran out, the "bratlings" had to be made without soy flour. The people did not like the taste of these new non-soy burgers, and they blamed their unpalatability on their soy content, not realizing that the trouble was actually the lack of soy flour. From this incident, soy flour began to develop a poor image in Germany (Nichols 1953).

In Britain commercial soy flour, introduced in 1909 and widely used during World War I, continued to be a popular ingredient in breads during the early 1920s (Piper and Morse 1923). In 1921 Yamamoto and Mizusawa of Japan were granted a British patent (No. 179,776) for debittering defatted soybeans using acetic acid. Many debittering patents were issued from 1932 on (A.K. Smith 1945). Freud (1927) in Ireland praised soy flour for its low cost and good nutritional value.

The most influential early manufacturer of soy flour in Britain (and one of the most influential in Europe) was the Soya Flour Manufacturing Co., which was founded in 1928 as a private limited company. The two main owners were the brothers J.C. Ferree and C.J. Ferree, both rubber merchants of Dutch nationality, who each owned 40% of the company's original stock worth 5,000 pounds sterling. Together with Dr. Hans Pick, an analytical chemist from Vienna, they formed the original board of directors. In 1929 the company completed a factory at 7 Mincing Lane in north London and began to make Soyolk brand whole soy flour using the Berczeller process, under license from Berczeller. Soyolk was heavily promoted as a bread improver from February 1929 on, with newspaper ads and extensive media coverage ( Food Manufacture 1929 and Nov. 1931; Medical Press 1929; Grocers Gazette 16 Feb. 1929; British Baker 9 May 1930; Page 1962). In 1929 C.J. Ferree published important books on soy flour, and especially Berczeller's soy flour, first in Dutch and then (with the help of G.P. Tussaud, who had patented a process for soy flour) the same year in English. The latter work, The Soya Bean and the New Soya Flour , did much to help both soy flour and the company's sales. By March 1930 authorized capital had increased fivefold to 25,000 pounds sterling and late that year Dr. Charles E. Fearn of London (see Chapter 59) replaced Dr. Pick as a director. In late 1929 Dr. Fearn and another director of the company visited the USA for the purpose of "organizing a company for the manufacture and distribution of Soyolk." By December 1931 Dr. Fearn was no longer a director. Apparently there had been a falling out, for in about 1930 a company named Soyex Company, with whom Dr. Fearn was closely associated (probably the owner), began to make a Berczeller-type whole soy flour in the US in Nutley, New Jersey (Horvath 1933).

In 1930 Mrs. Ettie Hornibrook published two long articles for British housewives about Soyolk, one describing its use in diabetic diets and the other its use with fruit in jams as (believe it or not) a sugar substitute. By 1931 sales of Soyolk were growing rapidly; they increased by 53% during the first 6 months of that year alone ( National Baker 22 Aug. 1931). In June 1932 the registered company was moved to Springwell Flour Factory, Springwell Lane, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, but for some reason troubles began (perhaps concerning licensing fees with Berczeller). By late 1932 the company went into receivership, although it was not formally dissolved until 1942 (Page 1962).

In some way, however, in 1933, the Soya Flour Manufacturing Co. Ltd. changed its name and was reborn as Soya Foods Ltd., with J.C. Ferree still Chairman and Managing Director. The new company, with offices and plant still at Rickmansworth, chose a yin-yang symbol as its trademark and displayed it prominently on a 20-page booklet about Soyolk published in 1933. The booklet also described Soyolk Bread (22% Soyolk and 78% wheat flour) and mentioned a free recipe book. No mention was made of Berczeller or his process, for by now the company was claiming boldly that it had developed a new, improved process (implying that it no longer had to pay Berczeller licensing fees). Ferree founded Soya Overseas Development Co., which was composed of the growing number of soyfoods/soy flour manufacturers in Britain.

In September 1941, as World War II increased in intensity, Soya Foods Ltd. moved its offices to Boreham Holt, Elstree, leaving only the mills at Rickmansworth. During World War II the company promoted its products actively in response to a strong demand. Various pamphlets were published including "Soya Flour; The Most Highly Concentrated Natural Food" (ca. 1944), which contained nutritional analyses and many recipes, "Soya Flour in Large Scale Catering" (ca. 1944), Soya Flour Makes Your Dishes More Nutritious" (1944), and "New Soya Flour Recipes" (1944). To the popular Soyolk were added new products including Diasoy (a special soy flour for breads), Soypro (a low-fat soy flour), Diazyme (1944, a yeast food and improver), and Soylac (a finely ground flour used like milk in cakes and confections, made until 1952). During the war years, until 1952, soybeans were rationed by the Oil and Fats Division of the Ministry of Foods. In 1945 Soya Foods Ltd. was purchased by Messrs. Spillers Ltd. (it is still part of that group) and offices were moved to London, with the plant still at Rickmansworth. New products were added by Spillers: Proton (1946, used in other foods, including ice cream), Vitasoy (1948, a dehydrated, pasteurized, and vitamin-enriched infant and vegetarian food), Colmilks (1949, an ice cream powder), and Soyzipan (1950, cake topping and macaroon ingredient). Mr. J.C. Ferree remained Chairman and Managing Director of Soya Foods Ltd. until 1948, when he stepped down, finally leaving the company in March 1952 (after 23 years) to work on other projects. During the 1950s the company expanded further and, with a new plant in Cardiff (south Wales), added solvent-extracted soy flour and meal, plus degummed soy oil to its product line. In 1956 the Wales plant was relocated in Bermondsey, S.E. London. The company's history from 1960 on will be given later.

The popularity of soy flour in Britain, pioneered by the Soy Flour Manufacturing Co. and Soya Foods Ltd. quickly attracted other companies into the field. In 1929 the British Arkady Company (founded in 1921) began to make their first soyfood, Super Arkady, an enzyme-active whole soy flour used in bread-making (personal communication 1983). In 1939 they were issued British patent 510,375 (Ref??) for an improved, debittered soy flour. (I need more early history of Arkady's work with soy!!)

In 1932 British Soya Products Ltd. was founded by Gabriel P. Tussaud, who had received a patent that year for a soy flour manufacturing process (Ref??) and had worked with Ferree to translate Ferree's 1929 book on Berczeller's soy flour from Dutch into English. He established offices in Moorgate, London and in late 1932 acquired Standon flour mill in Hertfordshire. The company's first product, a whole (full-fat) soy flour, came to be known as Trusoy. Later?? an enzyme-active whole soy flour called Bredsoy was introduced. Its popularity caused the company to purchase an additional mill at Royston in 1960 for the production of this flour (Dysart 1932; British Soya Products 1982). The company is still active making whole soy flour, both heat treated and enzyme active.

The Englishmen F.S. Kale (1936), devoting an entire chapter in his book to soy flour, favored whole soy flour for its better nutritional value. He noted that many British bakers used 10-15% soy flour in ordinary bread, biscuits, and pastries, in order to economize on eggs and butter, to improve the flavor, and to extend the shelf life. Gray (1936, 1938??) also wrote extensively of soy flour and soy bread.

Soy flour began to be used more extensively in Italy during this period. The Bonafous Institute in Turin developed pasta, breads, and grissini (long, slender bread rolls) containing soy flour and exhibited them those (which??) 2 years at the Turin Stadium Exposition, where they received prizes. This work gave rise to two articles on soy breads in 1921: "The Bread of the Future" ( Resto del Carlino , 6 Oct. 1921) and "A Food Revolution: Manna Returns" ( Illustrazione del Popolo , Torino, 11 Dec. 1921, p. 2). In 1923 Bottari wrote extensively about soy flour in Italy and gave 17 pages of interesting ideas for its use in Italian-style preparations, including photographs of spaghetti, bread, and grissini . He implied that the firm of Pipino and Fino in Turin was making a bread containing soy flour, and stated that M. Mossello had developed a whole soy flour with a good flavor. Costa (1927) reported that despite these favorable results and optimistic forecasts by nutritionists, soy flour had not become widely used in ordinary baking. Its use was limited to a certain type of cracker, grissini , and a special diabetic bread. Yet Matagrin (1939) in France reported that by the mid-1920s soy flour was widely used in baking in Italy and that in March 1926 a pagnotta di munizione ("loaf of bread for ammunition") containing 10% soy flour had been welcomed by the garrison in Rome.

Real progress, however, began in 1927, when the Italian Ministry of War established a Commission for the Study of Soya. They published a 75-page article in the Journal of Military Medicine on soy flour, soy bread, and the results of feeding Berczeller's soy flour to humans. Also in 1927 Prof. Ducceschi, Director of the Physiological Institute of the University of Padova (Padua) and a member of the Commission, published a 40-page article on soy flour and human nutrition. He kept six normal individuals on a diet of only soy bread (fortified with 10% soy flour) for 4-6 days. He concluded: "Soy flour, if added to bread or other nutritive food preparations, will become a valuable source of inexpensive protein for the people." By 1925 in Trieste, defatted soy flour was being used at the 10-15% level in breads. In early 1929 Berczeller met Mussolini, who declared his intention of introducing legislation to require the use of soy flour in the manufacture of Polenta (the corn/maize staple food) and of bread ( Food Manufacture 1929). Finally in 1938 Mussolini ordered that all Italian bread be fortified with soy flour.

In France, according to a letter from Rouest in late 1921, "the firm of Heudebert de Lion sells its soy flour, originating in China, for 10 francs per kilogram, a prohibitive price!" (Bottari 1923). Matagrin (1939) stated that Heudebert's diabetic and diatetic products containing soy flour were as well known in England as in France. Matagrin also wrote extensively about soy flour, describing manufacturing processes in detail and giving home and commercial recipes for its use. In 1944 (Ref??) he reported that by 1939 a bread containing 15-25% soy flour was being made in Paris and Vichy. Numerous French patents for debittering soy flour were issued from 1931 on, most of them to non-Frenchmen (A.K. Smith 1945).

In addition to Austria, Germany, England, Italy, and France, small amounts of work with soy flour were done in the Netherlands (Ferree's book on soy flour was published there in 1929) and Poland. In Poland, Kon and Markuze (1931) reported that the PER (Protein Efficiency Ratio) of a bread formula could be markedly increased when 11-25% of the wheat flour was replaced by soy flour. After 1938, as World War II spread, so did the interest in and use of soy flour, even in countries that had not used it previously. Spain received large shipments of soy flour from Germany and Italy for use in emergency military rations. Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden began to use soy flour in baked goods and confections.

1940 to 1959 . As World War II gained momentum, whole soy flour became increasingly important to Germany. For 3 to 4 years before launching hostilities, Germany had been storing soybeans imported via the USSR from Manchuria. When these supplies were cut off in 1941, Germany used roughly half of the estimated 60,000 tonnes of soybeans grown annually in the Balkans (mainly Romania and Yugoslavia) for making whole soy flour and flakes by the Berczeller process. Four factories turned out some 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes a year (less than one-tenth of America's peak wartime production) for use by the German military. The yield of flour was 83% of the original beans. The army used the flour in field kitchens, as an extender in industrially produced foods, and in the preparation of new specialty foods. Soy flour was also used by civilians and in some German-occupied countries (Weiss 1940; Gross 1946b). During the early days of the war, the German army had experimented on a large scale with a sausage extended with fairly large amounts of soy flour. Many German men had been fed this and other soy-extended meat products, none of which they found particularly palatable. Combined with the "bratlings" misunderstanding of the late 1930s, this gave soy an even poorer image (Nichols 1953).

In April 1940 the London Times published a long and fascinating article about the "Nazi Food Pills," Edelsoja, and the importance of whole soy flour in Germany.

Few people. . . appreciate the extent to which Germany is now making use of the soya and the importance of the part it plays both in the Nazi food economy and in the general economic structure of the Reich. The soya has become vitally important to Germany from the food, the economic, and the military standpoint. . . At the end of the Polish campaign Nazi official circles were boasting in Berlin that without the soya it would not have been possible for the German army to advance so quickly as it had done.

In March 1941 the US Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act, approving $7 billion in military credits for Britain, and giving the President authority to transfer food and equipment, rather than money, directly to nations whose defense was vital to the US. (Lend-Lease was approved for the USSR in November 1941.) The British made prompt requests for Lend-Lease soy flour, as well as for soybeans to make their own soy flour. They began to incorporate soy flour in increasing quantities into their breads and sausages (later called "soya links"), marzipan, and spaghetti (soyaghetti). In addition, American meat packers provided sausages containing 20% soy flour to the British army. These foods, consumed by both the army and civilians, were accepted as a wartime necessity, but were not relished (Indian Research Fund 1945; Learmonth 1963). As early as 1940 Helen Mackay in England had done nutritional research on Yolac, a mixture of soy flour and dried milk, which served as an inexpensive substitute for breast milk. By 1943 the US was exporting 9,868 tonnes of soy flour under Lend-Lease, primarily to Great Britain and the USSR. A host of new foods containing soy flour and grits were also being shipped and consumed in huge quantities: pea soya soup, cheese-soya soup, oat soya cereal, whole wheat soya cereal, wheat-soya-egg macaroni, and pork soya sausage links (Payne 1943). In addition, Britain's three major soy flour manufacturers (Soya Foods Ltd., British Arkady Co., and British Soya Products) did a booming business and promoted their products widely.

After the war, large quantities of soy flour were shipped from America to Europe as part of the huge relief efforts, to extend meager protein supplies and prevent starvation in war-torn countries whose animal populations had been largely destroyed. In 1948, the peak year for US soy flour production and exports, America shipped 248,409 tonnes of soy flour abroad, mostly to Europe, under the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Thereafter relief shipments tapered off sharply. During the austere postwar period, European food processors, using soy flour to extend sausages and other meats, frequently overused it or misused it. In addition, in some cases poorly-made soy flour was shipped from America, or it had not been stored properly so that it spoiled, and local tastes had not been carefully studied. Granted, some excellent products were produced and shipped (such as a soy & split pea soup, and a canned pork sausage with soy flour) but the net effect of the relief efforts was to give soy in Europe a bad name, which took producers of soy products some 20 years to "live down" (Johnson 1967). The main postwar problems occurred in Germany and Britain.

In Germany, shortly after the war, the US Military Government and the German Administration of Food and Agriculture attempted the improve the nutritional value of Germany's inadequate bread supply by adding soy flour and corn meal to the basic wheat and rye flours. The new bread was rejected by the population, and this further served to give "soya" a bad name.

In 1948, although the German food supply was increasing, there was still a severe shortage of protein. Meat consumption, at 10 kg per capita, was less than one-fourth the prewar level. To try to correct this deficiency a Soya Wurst Program was initiated by high-ranking US and German governmental agencies. The plan was to extend meat sausage with soy flour. Mr. Nerger, a leading meat processor near Hamburg, had used a special defatted and debittered soy flour or meal mixed with water, fat, and gluten to make a "Soya Fleisch" (soy meat). This he then mixed with equal parts of meat to get "Soya Wurst" (soy sausage). The latter sold for 33% less than all-meat sausage and taste tests done in early 1949 showed it to be very well accepted by consumers. The new food drew attention as far away as the US, where two consecutive weekend issues of The New York Times (Feb. 12 and 20, 1949 Refs??) ran front page feature stories on this new "ersatz meat," which a high-ranking US official in Germany had lauded as "potentially the greatest innovation in human feeding since people began to cook." Despite its good quality, growing opposition to the introduction of the new food developed in Germany, especially from the Butcher's Guild. They demanded that it be wrapped in a green-striped paper and bear the name "Soya Wurst." But Germans had already had several bad experiences with "soya" and many feared that Americans were just trying to "dump a lot of poor-grade soya flour down the German throat." Moreover, by the early spring of 1945, when the product was launched, meat supplies had begun to increase and consumers wanted to get away from ersatz foods. At the start of the nationwide program, 3,000 butchers were participating by selling Soya Wurst. Demand was brisk in a few places, but in most it was slow. In the first year, less than 27,500 tonnes (30,000 tons) of Soya Wurst had been sold. American Soybean Association officers visiting Germany in 1949 found intense dislike for the word "soya," which was now considered the epitome of ersatz. By the summer of 1950 the soya wurst program was dead (Nichols 1953). It would take a generation for soy flour to rebuild its image in Germany.

Likewise in Britain, the net effect of using soy war feeding programs was to give it a bad image. In the early 1960s Howard Roach, then president of the Soybean Council of America, held a press conference in London to promote soy. One of the reporters said to him,

Mr. Roach, the best thing you could do to encourage the use of soy in Great Britain would be to change the name. During the war you shipped us a lot of soybean flour which went into our breakfast sausage. It started out all right with a little soy and a lot of sausage. Then the sausage makers found that they could include a lot of soy and less pork to increase their profits. Before they got through we could scarcely eat the bloody things, and no Englishmen has liked any food with the name soy on it since. (Fischer 1967)

Learmonth (1963) of British Soya Products Ltd. also described the times vividly:

War and postwar rationing gave soya a chance to sell. It sold. It sold as a substitute for almost everything edible--from meat to molding starch, from dried egg to dusting powder. . . This ersatz condition was, of course, a bad augury for the future. Witty journalists in Sunday papers used the word soya as a synonym for phony. The anti-soya fans in the food industry (and there were plenty of them) gleefully forecast the death of the soya industry as soon as rationing ended. . . When it did end (in the early 1950s) the prophets of doom were confounded. There was, admittedly, an awkward lull. But before long soya was beginning to sell again and this time on its own merits; not as a substitute, but as a basic ingredient of manufactured foods; a necessary functional component playing an essential, natural role in a slowly widening range of products.

Extensive experience gained during the war and new investment in research and equipment after 1948 led to major improvements in soy flour quality.

There was some postwar soy flour activity in European countries other than Britain and Germany. In Austria, for example, Winkler was producing a debittered low-fat soy flour using a patented process and a modern factory (Brillmayer 1947). In Italy, Conti (1947) studied the fortification of bread with soy flour.

1960 to 1983 . During the recovery period that started in the 1950s and was completed by about 1960, the stigma that soy flour had acquired as an ersatz wartime food was gradually forgotten.

In West Germany, Edelsoja GMBH in Hamburg, founded in 1932, continued to be a major producer of soy flour. In 1973 the company was taken over by the firms Oelmuhle Hamburg AG and Lucas Meyer; thereafter sales skyrocketed, but were hurt by the 1977 law prohibiting the use of soy products in German meats. Edelsoja's Nurupan whole soy flour contained 41% protein, 23% fats (incl. 2-3% lecithin), and 5% moisture (Edelsoja GMBH 1977). As of 1983 Interfood Deutschland and Oelwerke Noury also made soy flour.

Nutritious soy bread (Soja Brot), which had acquired a bad image in Germany during and immediately after World War II, began to make a strong comeback in 1977, when a new recipe was introduced. It called for whole (full-fat) soy grits to replace 25% of the rye and wheat flour in a standard bread. In August 1979 the American Soybean Association, the German soy processing industry, and soy bread manufacturers launched a major promotional campaign to show bakers and consumers the advantages of the new product. The theme was "good health and good taste," with accent on the selling points of more protein, longer freshness, and better digestibility. During 1979 some 6 million loaves of Soja Brot were sold, and sales of full-fat soy grits rose 39%. By mid-1980 about 20% of West Germany's 30,000 bakeries and some 50 bread production plants were participating in the marketing campaign ( Soybean Digest 1980). By 1981 similar campaigns, with leadership from the American Soybean Association, were being introduced in Belgium, Italy, Denmark, France, and England. That year 6% of the breads in Belgium were reported to be soy breads. A new generation, interested in good health furthered by good food, was helping soy flour to make a comeback in Europe.

Use of soy flour in the UK also grew steadily during this period. Prior to the mid-1960s, the only soy flour produced there was whole soy flour, since it was generally considered to have much better flavor and functional properties than defatted soy flour. Learmonth (1957, 1963) believed that the quality of these two types of soy flour were as different as "chalk and cheese," although admittedly the defatted flour was cheaper. By 1966 an estimated 20,000 tonnes of whole soy flour were being used in the UK each year and over 90% of the bread produced there was thought to contain soy flour. By the mid-1970s it was rare to find a bread recipe in England that did not contain soy flour, especially the enzyme-active type (Pringle 1974). Most soy flour manufacturers made a range of products, each suited to specific applications such as improvers for breads (those made by the high-speed Chorleywood process, activated dough process, or conventional process each called for a different type), pastries, and morning goods, as well as milk powder replacers. Product types included regular and enzyme-active whole (full-fat) soy flours, defatted soy flours and grits, and custom blends. Most were used at the 1-2% level, with the maximum recommended usage in commercial products being 5-10%. Over the years the original soy flour companies gradually came to view themselves as manufacturers of soy-based "bread improvers" or "dough conditioners" (with numerous additives, such as oxidants, emulsifiers, fermentation aids, and others) rather than just soy flour. All were designed to produce a whiter, fluffier, larger loaf, preferred by most British consumers. In the late 1970s EEC tariff barriers applied to the hard wheats from the USA and Canada favored the softer European wheats with their lower protein content. The poor shelf life (rapid staling) of soft-wheat breads and the increased awareness of the nutritional value of soy fortified breads led to expanded use of soy flour in British breads (Wood 1980).

As of 1984 the major British manufacturers of whole and defatted soy flours were the same three that had dominated the field since the early 1930s. In 1968 Soya Foods Ltd. rebuilt and modernized its plant at Bermondsey, S.E. London, which by the early 1980s was producing some 16 varieties of soy flour. The perennial Soyolk, whose popularity was revitalized by a new interest in natural foods, was advertised proudly as a "natural, full-fibre and full-fat flour," recommended at the 5-10% level for commercial flour confectionery, but at the 14% level in home-baked goods and puddings. Diasoy, an enzyme-active whole soy flour, was used in breads and morning goods at the 1% level. All the company's other soy flours were defatted. Main offices were at New Malden, Surrey, and the R&D center was at Cambridge. The British Arkady Co. Ltd., with its Arkady Soya Mills and Arkady ADM division at Manchester, made regular and enzyme-active full-fat soy flour (Hi-Soy and Do Soy), Arkasoy defatted soy flour, and Arkady defatted soy grits. The whole soy flour was made by dry toasting and grinding, rather than by extrusion. British Soya Products Ltd., with offices and Standon mills at Ware, Hertfordshire, made roughly 22 types of soy flour, including regular and enzyme-active full-fat soy flour (Trusoy and Bredsoy), and Calsoy, a full-fat soy flour used to replace 5-8% of the skimmed milk in calf milk replacers.

Australasia . In Australia the earliest work with soy flour was done by Soy Products of Australia Pty. Ltd, starting in the 1950s. Over the years they have been a major supplier of raw soy flour and grits. (Need more??)


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