FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA, U.S. — The benefits of soy protein were highlighted at the Baking with Soy short course, hosted Sept. 24-28 at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) for seven bakers from Senegal and Rwanda.  The course was sponsored by The World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), a program of the American Soybean Association. 
“The addition of soy flour to baked products can raise protein content, balance essential amino acids, and increase bread’s nutritional value, making soy flour one of the most promising uses of soybeans in many countries,” said Mark Weber, NCI director. “We are delighted to work with WISHH in hosting this course that showcases the region’s high quality soybeans.”  
Clyde Stauffer, Ph.D., Technical Foods Consultants, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., was the lead instructor for the course. His lectures focused on helping the team develop a better understanding of the various functional properties of adding soy to baked products. Stauffer also led sessions on calculating calories, using cost spreadsheets, and the various kinds of wheat and their flour characteristics. 
The hands-on baking laboratories were led by Thunyaporn Jeradechachai, NCI Crop Quality Specialist; Rachel Carlson and Natsuki Fujiwara, both NCI Food Technologists. During the course’s baking sessions, the team made and evaluated soy-enhanced donuts, baguettes, croissants, pan bread, Poilâne bread, and spritzer cookies.
Kimberly Rochette, West Africa Project Manager for WISHH, and Drew Klein, Ph.D., Global Director, Human Utilization, U.S. Soybean Export Council, accompanied the course participants.  The North Dakota Soybean Council hosted the team at a luncheon.
“During these baking courses, we are not trying to give the bakers new recipes.  They already have their standard recipes that their consumers buy. We try to expose them to new ideas, such as no-time pan bread and Poilâne bread, a fermented dough. These may become specialty items in their bakeries. We also made spritzer cookies with and without soy flour, using a formula that I developed for Liberia’s school feeding program,” Stauffer said. 
While they are not technically trained bakers, the course participants are considered among of the most influential bakers in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, according to Stauffer. In addition to running their own bakery companies, one is the President of the Master Bakers Federation in Dakar, others are working as wholesalers in soy flour, and one runs a healthy foods school.