History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Europe (incl. Eastern Europe and the USSR (1597 - Mid 1980s) - Page 1
A Special Report on The History of Soybeans and Soyfoods Around the World
A Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and Soyfoods: 1100 B.C. to the 1980s
by William Shurtleff and Akiko AoyagiCopyright 2007 Soyinfo Center, Lafayette, California
1597-1799 . The Age of Exploration generated the first European contact with the traditional soyfoods of East Asia during the late 16th and throughout the 17th and 18th centuries; most of the early references came from countries whose sailing ships were active in exploration. For the first century all of the references were to soyfoods rather than soybeans.
As noted in Chapter 3, the first European travelers to East Asia (such as Marco Polo, who traveled from Venice to China and throughout the Orient between 1271 and 1295) made no mentioned in their journals or logs of the soybean plant or of soyfoods. Curiously, Polo didn't mention the Great Wall or tea either (Hymowitz 1970).
The earliest known description of soyfoods by a European was in 1597, when Francesco Carletti, a Florentine visiting Nagasaki, Japan, described miso (he spelled it misol ). In 1613 the English Captain John Saris described tofu in Japan; this was the first mention of a soyfood in English (Satow 1900). In 1665 the Italian Friar Domingo Navarrete described tofu in China and Manila, Philippines (Cummins 1962).
Soyfoods arrived in Europe before soybeans, before the earliest reference to soybeans, and thus before it was realized that they were made from soybeans. The first?? soyfood to arrive in Europe was Japanese shoyu (soy sauce); in 1670 Dutch traders started to import it to France at the request of Louis XIV, who used it as a seasoning at his sumptuous palace banquets (Tamura and Hirano 1971). Thus, initially, soyfoods acquired the image of a high-class food, just as they had much earlier when they first arrived in Japan. It was the English, though, not the Dutch, who pioneered in the introduction of soy sauce to Europe. In 1679 the philosopher John Locke mentioned that soy sauce, imported from the East Indies, was available at a particular restaurant in London (King 1858). In 1688 the Englishman Dampier described soy sauce in Japan (Dampier 1906) and in 1696 another Englishman, Ovington, praised the flavor of soy sauce in western India. In fact, from the late 1600s, soy sauce was a common item of trade from East Asia to England, and perhaps the Netherlands. In 1705 the English botanist Dale, who had studied the soybean in Japan, reported that European pharmacologists were familiar with soybeans ?? and with the culinary value of soy sauce. During the 1700s soy sauce became the first truly popular soyfood in Europe. By the mid-1700s it was widely used in England and by the late 1700s it started to be used as the basis for a host of table sauces in that country. Yet prior to 1712 no one in Europe understood how shoyu or any other soyfood was made, nor did they realize that these were soyfoods, made from soybeans (Hymowitz 1970, 1978??, 1981a).
A turning point in soyfoods history came in 1712, when the German traveler and scientist Englebert Kaempfer published his famous book Amoenitatum Exoticarum (exotic novelties, also entitled Amoentitates Exoticae ). This book gave the earliest known European description of the soybean plant (accompanied by a good illustration), first showed that soyfoods (shoyu and miso) were made from soybeans, and gave the earliest known descriptions of how shoyu and miso were made in Japan, where Kaempfer had studied their manufacture from 1690 to 1692. Kaempfer's book was also Germany's first contact with the soybean and soyfoods.
The soybean itself was probably introduced to Europe in the early 1700s. It is known to have been grown in the Netherlands by 1737, in France probably by 1739 or 1740 and certainly by 1779, and in England by 1790, but in each place it was grown in botanical gardens as a curiosity.
Starting in the early 1700s and continuing for the next 200 years, European botanists and naturalists began to take a serious interest in the soybean and in its taxonomy and scientific name. Pioneers in this line of work were Kaempfer (1712, German), Hermann (1726, Dutch), Linnaeus (1737, Swedish), Rumphius (1653-70 written, 1747 published, Dutch), and Moench (1794, German). Many other European botanists and naturalists continued this work during the 1800s.
Several other references to soyfoods appeared during the 1700s. In 1751 the Osbeck (a Swede), during a visit to China, described tofu and soy sauce (Osbeck 1757). In 1764 the Swedish captain Ekeberg wrote a 3-page article about Chinese soy sauce, and in 1775 the Swedish botanist and doctor Thunberg wrote about Japanese shoyu and miso, although his work was not published until 1796. In 1785 Bryant (a German??) gave a detailed description of shoyu production in Japan, and in 1793 Loureiro (a Portuguese), wrote in Latin about tofu, shoyu, soynuts, and whole dry soybeans.
1800-1899 . There was not much activity with and few references to soybeans and soyfoods during the period from 1800 to 1853. However during this period soybeans first started to be grown outside of botanical gardens, and their commercial possibilities tested. In 1821 the first soybean culture tests in Europe were done in France and in 1840 soybeans first started to be grown on farms in Italy.
Soy sauce continued its growth in popularity throughout the 1800s, especially in England, where it was used increasingly in a host of spiced table sauces, the most popular of which were Harvey's (which reached its peak of popularity after 1850), and Lea & Perrins, which was introduced in 1838 and by the 1880s had become known as the famous Worcestershire sauce. The latter was basically just an imported soy sauce with spices added.
The period from 1854 until the end of the century was one of great interest in soybeans and soyfoods. It was a time of abundant creativity and inventiveness and of the application for the first time in history of the principles of a host of burgeoning new Western sciences (especially nutrition, microbiology, chemistry, and agronomy) to the study of soyfoods and soybean culture.
Starting in the 1850s soybeans and soyfoods truly began to take root in Europe, thanks largely to the pioneering work of a remarkable group in France, the Society for Acclimatization. Starting in 1854, when it received the first samples of soybeans from a French consul in China, the Society began to distribute numerous packets of soybeans to its members throughout France, to encourage the acclimatization and propagation of this plant, and to publish the results of these culture trials in its widely read Bulletin of the Society for Acclimatization . After these first extensive efforts to propagate the soybean in Europe, many successes were reported, but the Society did not succeed in establishing a permanent culture of the plant.
The Society also did the first serious work in introducing, studying, making, consuming, and popularizing soyfoods, as described in this chapter under France and in more detail in chapter 32. The Society's bulletin published a host of outstanding articles on soyfoods, all original and many written by members in China and Japan. Then in 1880, inspired by the work of Haberlandt with soybeans and soyfoods in central Europe (see below), Paillieux published his landmark 117-page Le Soya , containing all of the above-mentioned letters and reports. The members of the Society for Acclimatization were clearly the original soy pioneers in Europe.
Starting in 1880 any European gardener or farmer could order soybeans and grow them, for that year Vilmorin-Andrieux & Co., one of Europe's most famous seed companies and close associates with the Society for Acclimatization, first offered soybeans for sale in their seed catalog.
The world's earliest scientific research on the chemical/nutritional composition of soybeans and soyfoods was done in Europe, starting 30 years before similar work was begun in Asia (Japan) and more than 50 years before it was begun in the USA. Pioneering studies were published by Fremy (1855), Pellet (1880), and Levallois (1881) in France; by Senft (1872) and by Meissl and Boecker (1883) in Germany; and by Stingl and Morawski (1886) in Austria-Hungary. Most of these studies analyzed the chemical/nutritional composition of the soybean seed, with special interest in its protein, fat, and starch content. Europe led the world in nutritional research until the end of World War I, at which point the USA, where pioneering work had gained momentum during the previous decade, probably took the lead.
One of the great pioneers of soybeans and soyfoods in Europe was Dr. Friedrich Haberlandt of Vienna (then in Austria-Hungary). Between 1873 and 1878 he initiated hundreds of successful soybean culture tests throughout southern central Europe. His classic 118-page book Die Sojabohne , published in 1878, reported in detail on his work with soybean culture in Europe and discussed many European applications of soyfoods. Before Haberlandt, largely because of the work of the Society for Acclimatization in France, the soybean had been viewed largely as a food legume, meant for human consumption in the form of a variety of soyfoods. Haberlandt pointed out that it could also be used for livestock forage and fodder, the use which soon thereafter began to predominate, leading to a major reevaluation of the soybean's potential in Europe. Haberlandt had hoped to establish the soybean as a major commercial crop in Europe, but his untimely death in 1878 prevented the realization of his vision. Nevertheless his work and writing served to stimulate much subsequent interest in soybean culture and soyfoods utilization throughout Europe, and led to Vienna's becoming a major center of soy-related activity for the next 50 years (see Chapter 49).
Starting in the 1860s and increasing during the 1880s numerous Europeans, especially the French and Germans, went to East Asia and sent back detailed firsthand reports on the manufacture of soyfoods. Pioneering work was done by the Frenchmen Simon (1862) and Champion (1866) in China; by the Germans Hoffmann (1874), Ritter (1874), Langgaard (1878), Korschelt (1878), Kellner (1886-1910), and Loew (1897), all in Japan; by the Englishman Atkinson (1878, 1881) in Japan; and by the Dutchman Prinsen Geerligs (1895, 1896) in Java, Indonesia. The main foods studied were tofu, miso, shoyu, and, in Indonesia, tempeh. The work of the Germans in Japan, especially in introducing modern scientific concepts and techniques related to microbiology, chemistry and nutrition, quickly revolutionized the fermented soyfoods industries in Japan. Because of the stimulating work of these European scientists and the growing prestige of European scientific journals, starting in 1895 Japanese (such as Yabe and Inouye) began writing about soyfoods in European languages (in Japan and Europe) and in European journals.
While the first popular soyfood in Europe was soy sauce, a seasoning, the first widespread use of soybeans as a protein source was in diabetic diets, where they were valued for their low starch content. France did all of the pioneering research and popularization work in using soybeans (primarily as soy flour in breads and other baked goods) in diabetic diets from 1880 to 1906. As this usage spread, it tended to give soyfoods the image of a therapeutic ingredient with a rather limited range of applications--flour and bread.
By 1899 most of the many traditional East Asian soyfoods had at least been mentioned in European publications. Miso was first referred to in 1597 by the Italian Carletti, tofu in 1613 by the Englishman Saris, shoyu or soy sauce in 1679 by the Englishman Locke, dry roasted soynuts, whole dry soybeans, and soymilk (as a tofu ingredient) in 1793 by the Portuguese Loureiro, soy nuggets in 1855 by the Frenchman Julien, soy oil in 1855 by the Frenchman Montgaudry, fermented tofu in 1855 by the Frenchman Montigny, fresh green soybeans in 1858 by the Frenchman Lachaume, yuba and soymilk as a beverage in 1866 by the Frenchman Champion, soy coffee in 1877 and roasted soy flour and soy chocolate in 1878, all by the Austro-Hungarian Haberlandt, okara in 1889 by the German Kellner, soy lecithin in 1889 by the Germans Schulze and Steiger, soy sprouts in 1889 by the German Schulze (but as a food in 1910-12 by the Frenchman Li), soy flour in 1891 in the Netherlands (it was produced then commercially, as noted by Piper and Morse in 1916), natto in 1894 by the Japanese Yabe (in English in Tokyo, then in 1895 in German in Germany; in 1907 Senft, a German, became the first European to mention natto), and tempeh in 1875 by the Dutchmen Gericke and Roorda. Thus only natto, soy sprouts (as a food), and fermented soymilk were unknown in Europe prior to 1900.
Several of the above foods were developed in Europe before they were known in East Asia: soy coffee, soy chocolate, soy lecithin, and unroasted soy flour. Of all these soyfoods, apparently only unroasted soy flour was made commercially in Europe prior to 1900, unless there were Chinese or Japanese manufacturers of tofu, miso, or soy sauce in some European cities, but we are not aware of these.
1900-1920 . During the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05), which the Russians fought in Manchuria and lost, locally grown soybeans served as an important food source for both armies. It was reported that the Russians were amazed at the stamina of the Japanese soldiers, who used dried frozen tofu and several other preserved foods as basic protein sources. This event, the first time a large group of Europeans had consumed soybeans in East Asia, also served to arouse considerable interest among European scientists (such as Senft in Germany) in the military uses of soyfoods, an interest that would find widespread application in Europe during both World War I and II, especially in Germany.
In 1907 a sequence of events started which revolutionized the conception and use of soybeans in Europe and later throughout the world. At the end of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, after the troops were withdrawn, Manchuria found itself with a surplus of soybeans and no troops to consume them. A new market had to be found. At the same time Europe's traditional main oilseeds, cottonseed and linseed, were in short supply and thus very expensive. In 1907 Japanese traders sent the first large trial shipment of Manchurian soybeans to England, where they were crushed in English oil mills at Liverpool and Hull to make oil and meal. The results of this experimental crushing were favorable and the price of the imported soybeans was highly competitive. In 1908 the UK imported and crushed 40,600 tonnes (metric tons) of soybeans from Manchuria. Thereafter imports skyrocketed, reaching a peak of 449,000 tonnes imported and crushed in 1910. The great majority of the soybeans were imported by the United Kingdom up until 1912, followed by Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Then in 1913 Germany and Russia became the major importers. Imports gradually declined as World War I approached and as the prices of cottonseed and linseed returned to their normal levels. The main soybean crushing centers were large port cities in northwestern Europe; Liverpool, Hull, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen.
Western industrialization, which had begun in England in the late 1700s in the iron, cotton, and railway industries, began to be applied to soybean processing. But the basic concept of treating the soybean as an industrial rather than as a food product, crushing it to make oil and meal, then using the oil to make soap and the meal to feed livestock--this was adopted from Manchuria, where it had developed during the late 1800s.
By 1909 extensive original research was being done in Europe on the uses of the soybean oil and meal. The process of hydrogenation, initially developed by the French scientists Sabatier and Senderens between 1897 and 1904, then applied to oils by the W. Normann (a German) and patented in 1903, led to Europe's first hydrogenation plant in England in 1906, and the hydrogenation of soy oil during the next decade. Margarine, invented in France by Mege-Mouries^ in 1868, soon absorbed large amounts of soy oil (Stuyvenberg). Extensive tests done throughout Europe, starting in 1909, on the feeding value of soybean meal, primarily for dairy cattle, showed that it was a high-quality protein source in mixed feeds.
Starting in about 1909, as soybean imports from Manchuria rapidly increased, European nations with colonies (primarily England, but also Germany, Belgium, and France) began to experiment with growing soybeans in their colonies. This led to the introduction of soybeans to many African countries, and to increased interest in India. Results, however, were not generally very promising. The French, the only Europeans with colonies in East Asia (Indochina), did extensive research there on soybeans and soyfoods during this period.
Unquestionably the most creative and influential soyfoods pioneer in Europe in the early 1900s was Li Yu-ying, a French-educated Chinese chemist and scholar. In 1912 he and the French agricultural engineer L. Grandvoinnet published a remarkable 141-page book entitled Le Soja: Sa Culture, Ses Usages Alimentaires, Therapeutiques, Agricoles, et Industriels . Packed with original information about soybeans and soyfoods, it opened up vast new vistas to Europeans, who were used to thinking of the soybean as a food for diabetics. In about 1910 Li started Europe's first modern soyfoods factory in which he made a full line of traditional and modern soyfoods including soymilk, cultured acidophilus soymilk, tofu, fermented french-style tofu cheeses in Roquefort and Camembert flavors, soy sprouts, roasted soy flour, soy coffee, soy chocolate, and naturally fermented soy sauce. Details of these and many other of his innovative activities are given at France in this chapter and in Chapter 50.
During World War I soybean imports from East Asia were sharply reduced by the struggle between the Allies and Central Powers for control of trade routes, the Allied blockade, and German submarine warfare. However soyfoods were much more extensively used than at any previous time, especially in Germany, France, and England, both by the military and civilians. The main soyfoods made and consumed in these countries were soy flour and soymilk. Numerous soymilk patents were granted in these countries from 1911 on. In Germany pioneering work with soyfoods during the war was done by Fuerstenberg, a writer, and by Bollmann, a food scientist and manufacturer.
1920-1939 . Starting in about 1920 European imports of soybeans and soy oil from East Asia began to recover rapidly. In 1925 soybean imports passed the 1910 prewar high then rose to a new peak of 1,703,000 tonnes in 1929; they stayed at about this level until 1934, then fell slowly, plummeting after 1939. The leading soybean importers, in order of size, were Germany, Denmark, UK, and Netherlands.
Soy oil imports from Manchuria and Japan rose to a peak of 110,000 tonnes in 1927, then declined as Europe decided to import more soybeans and extract the oil domestically. By 1930 Germany and Denmark had large net exports of soy oil; the Netherlands and the UK had large imports.
The USSR was the first nation in Europe and the second nation in the Western world (after the USA) to become a major producer of soybeans. Soybean production, which reached significant levels in the mid-1920s, rose to a remarkable peak of 283,000 tonnes in 1931, but had fallen back to a low of 54,000 tonnes in 1935, after which it increased steadily. At the time of this peak, starting in 1931, the USSR built a large Soybean Research Institute in Moscow, attracted some of the top soybean and soyfoods researchers from western Europe (Rouest, Berczeller), and did extensive soyfoods research, focusing on soymilk and tofu, during the early 1930s.
Starting in the late 1920s and continuing through the 1930s and into the 1940s a new generation of soybean and soyfoods pioneers emerged in Europe. From 1923 to 1945 Berczeller from Vienna had an enormous influence in introducing a new and superior type of soy flour to all major European countries (see also Chapter 51). Ducceschi was very influential in Italy and wrote important books in the late 1920s. In England J.L. North did fine work with soybean breeding and production, culminating in his work with Henry Ford from 1932 to 1934 (Gray 1936; Kale 1936), and Bowdidge (1935) and Gray (1936) wrote important books. In France Rouest, Bordas, and Matagrin were prolific writers and researchers.
One of the great national success stories with soybeans in Europe took place in Denmark between about 1910 and 1930. Deprived of its traditional wheat market by competition from American wheat imports, it rebuilt its economy on soybeans, used as a livestock feed, and soon became a major exporter of meat, dairy products, and eggs.
Prior to the mid-1930s, very little work with soybeans or soyfoods had been done in Eastern Europe. Moreover soybeans had never become established as a commercial crop (except in the USSR), largely because of the northerly latitude and unsuitable climatic conditions (such as cold) in much of Europe, the introduction of late maturing soybean varieties, and the almost complete lack of support in developing the crop from governments or agricultural experiment stations, as had been found in the USA. Only in Germany and the USSR was government help forthcoming. However in about 1933, in large part because of developmental efforts and contracts from Germany, five Danubian (Balkan) countries in eastern Europe started to grow lots of soybeans. The largest producers were Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, with lesser amounts from Yugoslavia and Austria. Their combined production rose to a peak of 125,000 tonnes in 1941, then fell to almost nothing in the closing years of the war.
1940-1959 . During World War II soybean imports to Europe from abroad fell to almost zero because of naval warfare over trade routes and Japanese invasions of Manchuria and China. Soy flour was used extensively by both civilians and the military, especially in Germany and in England, and much more than during World War I. It was used mainly as an extender for meat and wheat flour, which tended to give it the image of a "hardship food."
Starting in 1945, after the war which took 10 million lives and threw the entire world into turmoil, imports of soybeans, soy oil, and soy flour increased dramatically, but now the main source of these imports was the USA rather than East Asia. Between 1949 and 1954 the American Soybean Association (ASA), in conjunction with the Economic Cooperation Administration, the Marshall Plan, and the US Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) began intensive market development efforts for soybeans and soybean products in Europe. In 1956 the Soybean Council of America, a newly established trade association under the ASA and the US National Soybean Processors Association, signed a contract with FAS for market development work in Spain and Italy. In 1958 the Council opened a European office in Rome. Thereafter European soybean imports from the USA increased very rapidly, and total soybean imports skyrocketed from 105,000 tonnes in 1945 to 2,800,000 tonnes in 1960, for a 26-fold increase in only 15 years, or a compound annual growth rate of 25% a year. In 1959 soybean imports passed the postwar high of 1,700,000. Imports of soy oil and soybean meal also increased rapidly, reaching 390,000 tonnes and 950,000 tonnes respectively in 1960. Prior to 1960 the top three importers of soybeans were West Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Leading soy oil importers were Spain, West Germany, and Italy. Leading soybean meal importers were the UK, Denmark, and France.
In 1945 Europe was divided into East and West, with the Communist eastern half emerging as a new politico-economic bloc. Thereafter its imports of soybeans and soybean products were much lower than those of Western Europe, and little interest was shown in soy protein foods, except textured soy flour as a meat extender.
The European Economic Community was created when six nations (Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany) signed the Treaty of Rome. It became effective January 1958 and a Common Market was created over the next 10 years. In 1973 the UK, Denmark, and Ireland joined the EEC. Greece joined in January 1981; Spain and Portugal hoped to join in 1983??
1960-1983. During this period European imports of soybeans, soy oil, and soybean meal expanded dramatically, with virtually all of the imports coming from the USA prior to 1972, and with up to 20% coming from Brazil and Argentina after that time. Starting in the early 1960s, to promote increased imports, the American Soybean Association opened offices in West Germany (1961-69??), Belgium (1970), Austria (1974), and Spain (1976). Europe, and particularly the EEC, was the world's largest market for US soybeans and demand grew at the world's fastest rate. From the outset ?? , the EEC established policies which strongly stimulated imports of soybeans and soybean meal; it drafted long-term trade agreements allowing these products to enter duty-free but restricted imports of corn and other grains through a system of variable levies. Between 1960 and 1980 soybean imports to Europe grew from 2,800,000 tonnes to 17,000,000 tonnes. The five largest soybean importers were West Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and USSR. The soybeans were crushed to yield soy oil (used mostly for margarine and cooking and salad oils) and defatted soybean meal (used for livestock feed).
During this period, soy oil became the leading oil in Europe; by 1978 its consumption was greater than that of the next three leading oils combined. It was the leading oil in every EEC country except France and Ireland. The Netherlands and Denmark had the two highest soy oil consumption rates; France had the lowest. By the 1970s soy oil, because of its low price and improved flavor, had begun to replace olive oil, long the favorite in south Europe. From 1960 to 1968 soy oil imports to Europe dropped sharply, as countries decided to import soybeans and extract the oil themselves??. After 1968 oil imports rose again, but at a much slower rate than imports of soybeans or meal, reaching 800,000 tonnes in 1980, a relatively small amount. The largest importers were West Germany, France, East Germany, and Italy.
Prior to World War II in Europe, meat was eaten by many people only once a week. After about 1960, however, meat consumption increased dramatically, spurred in part by the availability of low-cost soybean protein in livestock rations. Europe and the USSR imported soybeans primarily as a protein source and in addition imported huge amounts of soybean meal: 950,000 tonnes in 1960 increasing to 14,500,000 tonnes in 1980. Thus meal imports expanded 15.2 fold during these 2 decades, as compared with 6.1 fold for soybeans and 2.1 fold for soy oil. The leading soybean meal importers were France, West Germany, Netherlands, Poland, and East Germany. In 1980 the EEC was dependent on imports for 96% of its protein needs, of which the soybean supplied more than 65%, primarily in livestock feeds.
In 1973 a projected shortage of soybeans in the USA caused the US government to place a partial embargo on exports. This showed European livestock farmers their heavy dependence on US soybeans and led the EEC to set the goal of reducing its dependence, in part by growing more soybeans in Europe. This stimulated research into soybean production (Radley 1974). Pioneering work was done in northern Europe by Dr. Sven Holmberg of Sweden and in Europe by Ray Whisker. This allowed the soybean to be grown (although in small quantities) in more northerly latitudes than had formerly been practical. However basic problems of latitude, climate, and population density, leading to low yields and high prices, limited expansion of acreage. The main expansion of acreage took place in south Eastern Europe, starting in the mid-1960s (with Romania) and greatly accelerating after the 1973 embargo, with Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Hungary. Total European soybean production grew from a mere 12,000 tonnes in 1960 to 108,000 tonnes in 1970, and 660,000 tones in 1980. Starting in 1979 France became the only significant soybean producer in Western Europe. USSR soybean production was static during these 2 decades, but was still larger than that of any European country.
By the late 1960s the bad image that soyfoods (mostly soy flour) had gained during World War II were largely forgotten as a new generation of modern soy protein products (isolates, concentrates, and textured soy protein products) was introduced from the USA. The fact that these products were bland and highly refined and/or they were used in moderate amounts as meat extenders made them nonobjectionable, if not positively welcomed since they lowered the price and the cholesterol and fat content of meats. In 1973 the first World Soy Protein Conference was held in Munich, largely to promote this new generation of soy protein products. In the EEC, from 1973 to 1977, consumption of soy protein isolates increased from 2,000 to 10,000 tonnes a year, while that of textured soy products (mostly textured soy flour) rose from 3,400 to 25,100 tonnes.
Starting in the late 1970s and greatly increasing after 1981 the low-technology soyfoods and soycrafters movement began to take root in Europe. It drew its inspiration and conceptual framework from two sources: the soyfoods movement that started in the USA in about 1976, and the macrobiotic movement that started promoting production of soyfoods (especially miso and shoyu) in Europe in the late 1950s. Now, for the first time in history, non-Oriental Europeans established businesses to make and distribute tofu, tempeh, soymilk, miso, and shoyu (natural soy sauce), and wrote a growing number of articles and books about these foods. This new generation of soyfoods enthusiasts had no memories of soy flour and World War II, so they could approach these new foods with a fresh and creative "Beginner's Mind." By January 1983 in Europe there were 57 companies making tofu, 13 making tempeh (especially in the Netherlands), 17 making soymilk, 10 making miso, and 1 making shoyu. While most of these companies were run by Caucasian Europeans, a fair number were run by Japanese, Chinese, and Indonesian Europeans. The Indonesians actually pioneered postwar low-tech soyfoods in Europe, starting the first tempeh shop in the Netherlands in 1946. The European soyfoods industry has plans?? for a newsletter, a continental Soyfoods Conference, development of European sources of organically grown soybeans (although Europe, like Japan, would probably find it less expensive to import from the USA), and eventually perhaps a magazine. The various languages in Europe make each of these activities more difficult than they would be in the US. There would seem to be more interest in soyfoods in Europe in 1983 than at any time in the past.
The following sections discuss the history of soybeans and soyfoods by individual countries in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the USSR. Within each region, countries are listed alphabetically.