NCI Baking with Soy Course Highlights Nutritional Benefits of U.S. Soy

Fargo, N.D., USA -- The nutritional benefits of soy protein in baked products were highlighted at the NCI Baking with Soy course, which ran from August 25-29 at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) in Fargo, N.D.  The course was attended by bakery managers from Burkino Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, Africa.

WISHH, The World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, co-sponsored the course.  WISHH is a program of the American Soybean Association (ASA) that brings the nutritional benefits of U.S. soy protein to people in developing countries. Additional partners for course were North Dakota Soybean Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Cenex Harvest States (CHS), and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Soybeans have great potential for human food use because of their high level of protein and their functional and nutritional properties. One of the most promising uses of soybeans is in bakery products. For example, the addition of soy flour to bread products can raise protein content, balance essential amino acids, and increase bread’s nutritional value.

During the course, NCI Director Mark Weber hosted the group while visiting the Embden Grain Company, hosted by Manager Brad Koetz, and at the Mark and Linda Levos farm near Embden, N.D.  He says, “Cote d’Ivoire is about the size of North Dakota, but with a population of 23 million, it exemplifies the importance of using soy flour to help balance human nutritional needs in their country.”

This course highlighted the use of soy ingredients in baking applications by elaborating physical dough properties, baked product quality, and technical specifications of soy ingredients. Different types of breads and other bakery products were demonstrated to highlight various functional properties of adding soy. Considerable amount of time was spent in the laboratory doing hands-on baking of donuts, mandazi, scones, pan breads, hamburger buns, baguettes, croissants, brioche, and cookies.

The course was coordinated by John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director.   Lecturers were Rachel Carlson, Food Technologist; Natsuki Fujiwara, Food Technologist; Thunyaporn Naggie Jeradechachai, Crop Quality Specialist; and Clyde Stauffer, Technical Food Consultants, Cincinnati, Ohio.

The group also toured Culinex, a food service equipment store in Fargo and were hosted by the North Dakota Soybean Council for a special luncheon.  

They continued their trip with stops in Minneapolis, where they met with Cenex Harvest States (CHS) staff.  In Mankato, Minnesota, they visited with the staff of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR & PC). 

Northern Crops Institute (NCI) supports regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern-grown crops.  NCI is funded by the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and commodity groups in those states and Montana.