The third annual Natto Summit was held in Fargo, N.D., Sept. 3-5 where 23 Japanese natto soybean buyers attended, along with natto suppliers from North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Arkansas and Ohio.
Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. Fermentation breaks down the proteins in the soybean making it easier to digest than whole soybeans. Natto is often eaten for breakfast and popular in Japan for its health benefits. Natto soybeans are small, with a clear hilum and thin seed coat.
As a sponsor of the event, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) took part in the conference and tours.
“The Natto Summit is a great example of how international trade meetings should be held,” says Tom Slunecka, MSR&PC Executive Director. “The small, intimate setting allows for buyers, distributors and producers to build direct relationships, potentially ending in direct business.”
Attendees toured three food grade soybean plants: SB&B Foods, Inc. in Casselton, N.D., Brushvale Seed, Inc. in Breckenridge, Minn., and Richland IFC in Dwight, N.D., where they toured soybean research plots and breeding nurseries, all while experiencing each step in the food grade soybean cleaning process at the facilities.