Getty ImagesThe Soy Food Promotion and Welfare Association (SFPWA), which represents soybean food processing industries in India has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the processing industry to import 50,000 tonnes of food specialty soybeans from the US duty-free as prices of domestic soybeans have increased 50% during the past six months.
K Sarat Chandra Kumar, President, Soy Food Promotion and Welfare Association said, “The beans could be allowed into the country at “zero” duty under tariff rate quota since food specialty soybeans are not grown in the country.”
“Though soya food companies have improved quality, due to a lack of affordable and high-quality raw ingredients, we feel challenged for new growth opportunities. Inconsistent and inferior raw soybean quality is the leading cause of dissatisfied consumers wanting better taste, texture and flavour profiles,” claimed Kumar adding,“Indian soybeans are oil- and meal-centric, suitable for animal utilisation. There are no food specialty soybeans grown in the country; thus the supply of the same does not exist. While all Indian beans are non-GM, they are also treated as commodity beans regardless of the end use, be it in the food or feed industry. When soybeans are needed for food applications, Indian producers grade and select the best beans from the general lots and sell them at a premium price.”
Sumit Agarwal, Vice President of the Association said, “Lack of suitable food grade specialty soybeans is limiting the business opportunities, job creation, and revenue generation in the processing industry.”
A release from the Association stated, “There are Non-GM specialty food grade soybeans grown in the United States with specific varieties and traits for various soy food applications. These are Identity preserved (IP) and have been regularly preferred and supplied directly to soy food manufactures in SE Asia, China, Japan and other countries. IP is a practice of segregating crops throughout the process of production, processing, and distribution in order to deliver a specific trait or the quality to the end market. These specialty beans have been created and customised with lower oil content, higher inherent sucrose, low oligosaccharide (raffinose and stachyose) and stable protein structures making them highly suitable for soy food manufacturing. These exclusive technical features are attributed to produce high quality products with no off smell and greater acceptability”.