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USB Helps Make 26 Soy-Based Products a Reality
Annual New Products List Signifies USB's Commitment to Driving Soy Demand Through New Uses
ST. LOUIS (November 30, 2009) — Demonstrating its commitment to developing new industrial and consumer products that contain U.S. soy, the United Soybean Board (USB) recently released its annual list of soy-based products that the soybean checkoff helped introduce this year. Thanks, in part, to support from the soybean checkoff, 26 new soy-based products hit the market in 2009.
USB's New Uses program provides funding to scientists and industrial partners to research, develop and commercialize products containing soybeans. Marty Ross, vice chair of the USB New Uses program who is in his fifth year as a soybean checkoff farmer-leader, said watching a soy-based product develop from concept to commercialization is very gratifying.
"To see this many products come to fruition year in and year out with the help of the soybean checkoff is amazing," said the Delmar, Del., soybean farmer. "The role of the soybean checkoff's New Uses program is to benefit soybean farmers by increasing industrial demand for U.S. soy. And I think the New Uses program is certainly doing that and will continue to do that, in part, by supporting the next generation of products such as these."
The soybean checkoff directs its funding toward several categories, including adhesives, coatings, printing inks, lubricants, plastics, fibers and solvents.
Consumers can find some of this year's new products, including a soy-based wood floor stain from Rust-Oleum, a line of Simmons mattresses that include soy-based foam, and a soy-based degreaser and adhesive remover available at retail outlets such as The Home Depot and Ace Hardware. Others, such as a soy-based adhesive used to manufacture plywood, a soy-based pavement crack sealant and soy-based bioremediation agents used in environmental cleanup, will mostly be noticed by industrial users.
While the products represent a diverse range of categories, they generally have two attributes in common: They're sustainable and they boost demand for U.S. soy.
The soybean checkoff works to advance the sustainability movement, in part, by developing and promoting soy-based products. Many of the projects the soybean checkoff funds led to products that use soybean oil as a replacement for petrochemicals, making them more renewable and more environmentally friendly than their non-soy-based counterparts.
Statistics show the checkoff's efforts to expand industrial demand for soybean oil work. By 2010, industrial use is expected to be between 1.15 and 1.35 billion pounds of soybean oil, or the oil from nearly 120 million bushels. That's up from 80 million bushels used in 2008.
The list of new soy-based products represents an annual culmination of a three-to-five-year process that began with researchers trying to persuade soybean checkoff farmer-leaders that their ideas held potential for increasing soy demand.
"We solicit applications, review the concepts and select them based on their technical merit and market potential," Ross explained. "Number one, the product must be technically feasible — can it be done? And, number two, just because it can be done, is it viable? What's the product's market value, and how many bushels of soybeans will it use?"
The soybean checkoff's industrial partners continue to produce an assortment of sustainable soybased products without making an impact on the world's food supply. The food industry uses 87 percent of the U.S. supply of soybean oil. Oil makes up just 18 percent of a soybean; the remainder consists of protein-rich meal. A USB study found that industrial demand for soybean oil for such things as biodiesel and soy-based products increases the supply of soybean meal, which will be largely used to produce more food, not less.
USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.
The new soy-based products introduced in 2009 as a result of soybean checkoff support include:
© 2009 United Soybean Board. All Rights Reserved. [38342 .JB]
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