USSEC, AFST USDA Educate Indian Entrepreneurs on Soy Food Processing Prospects
US Food and Drug Administration FDA approved Bunge North America’s petition for a qualified health claim linking soybean oil consumption to reduced risk of heart disease.
US Soybean Export Council (USSEC) jointly with the Association of Food Scientist and Technologists (AFST), recently organized a conference on the “Entrepreneurship Development in Soy Food Processing”, in order to encourage soy food processing. The organizers also involved various stakeholders from the industry, government, academia, agri policy experts, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEAI) and financial institutions etc.
While speaking on the soy food business potential in India and the role soy can play in health and nutritional security of India Dr. Ratan Sharma of the USSEC said that Soybean is one of the very few plants those provide a high-quality protein with minimum saturated fat. He further explained about the nutritional quality of the soy oil from the US. Besides the regular nutritious soy oil, the US has developed high oleic soy oil. High oleic soy oil is being very popular as industry preferred substitute for partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and are used in all manners of processed foods especially the snack foods for deep frying. High oleic soy oil is free from trans fats as well as lower in saturated fat and contains three times more of beneficial monounsaturated fatty acid compared to conventional soy oil.
According to him, US Food and Drug Administration FDA approved Bunge North America’s petition for a qualified health claim linking soybean oil consumption to reduced risk of heart disease. Significantly, soybean oil is the most commonly used ingredient and top dietary source of polyunsaturated fats in the US. It is also the second largest edible oil used in India. Soybean oil is considered heart-healthy oil as it’s cholesterol-free and low in saturated fatty acids – it contains 61 percent poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Two fat components essential for health and wellbeing, linoleic and linolenic acids, are also found in the right proportions in soybean oil. Besides, soybean oil is a good source of vitamin E as well. It is also known to be protective against heart disease and cancer. He told that US soy oil is known for its nutritional superiority in comparison with the soy oils from other origins.
Discussing about the Soy food business opportunities in India Dr. Sharma very clearly mentioned that raw material plays a major role to produce a quality product delivering proper nutrients and making a tasty product. Food specialty soybeans are not grown in India limiting the growth of soy food sector in lack of desired quality product with limited value addition possibilities. Dr. Sharma highly recommended the food specialty soybeans from the USA which produces an excellent quality soy food with much better acceptability of the end product and excellent value addition possibility when compare with the Indian soybeans.
Adam Branson the senior Agri. Attaché of Agriculture Affairs at the Foreign Agriculture Services, USDA of the United States Consulate general at Mumbai explained that a huge opportunity exists for the agriculture products trade between India and the United States. Adam stated that Agriculture is one of the top economies of the US and we look forward to India as a great partner to us for the agri business and the related trade. Adam further discussed about the bilateral trade relations between US and India, environmentally sustainable production of soybeans, about agri. commodities and other areas of US agriculture and agri. Products where both the countries can work together.
G Chandrasekhar, a senior agriculture policy and trade expert spoke about addressing the nutritional challenges and creating employment through soy food business. He replied the query on various aspects of the food and agriculture policies of the Indian government. Dr. Prabodh Halde, head regulatory affairs, Marico and president of AFST, India covered the regulatory norms on various food products, processing and labelling etc. Dr. BV Mehta talked about the supply and demand of the edible oils in India and he told that India has a great potential of using soybean oil. The consumption of soy oil is increasing because of its nutritional superiority to other edible oils. Indranil Chatterjee from the DuPont Nutrition presented about the protein-rich foods and beverages made by using soy protein isolates and concentrates. Uday Annapure discussed about the scope and benefits of extrusion technology in the Indian food processing sector and about the phenomenal growth in this segment especially the soy nuggets (Soy Bari) which are very popular in India. Speaking on the nutritional and functional properties of the soybean oil Dr. Meena Mehta interpreted about the nutritional facts of the soybean oil and highlighted its nutritional and functional properties.
Some of the soy food start-ups shared their experience and the achievements in the soy food processing sector. Here it is very important to note that there are more than 2,000 soy food processing industries are there in India. This segment is growing at a rate of 12 percent on an annual basis.