Soy-Based Mulch, Pasta Take Top Prizes at Project SOY

March 28, 2012 - News Release

A soy-based, biodegradable mulch film and a soy pasta and filling called Ricosoy are among the winners at this year’s Project SOY (Soybean Opportunities for Youth) competition.

The 17th annual event on March 23 showcased nearly 60 University of Guelph student participants in 18 teams.

The biodegradable mulch film, made by a biological engineering group called ASOY Plastics Inc., helps with soil moisture retention and improved plant performance.

Ricosoy is a quick, well-balanced meal made from soy ravioli and soy-infused ricotta cheese. It can be paired with a variety of ingredients to make it a dinner or even a dessert food.

Other project ideas in the competition included acne face wash, soybean-infused soil, soy candles, and sweet potato and soy hash browns.

“Project SOY, like all research, fosters innovation, rewards ingenuity and brings new value-added product ideas to the marketplace,” said Ted McMeekin, Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs (OMAFRA). “The McGuinty government is proud to support this program because it’s helping to build a stronger Ontario.”

Rich Moccia, U of G’s associate vice-president, research (strategic partnerships), added: “Project SOY is an amazing opportunity for students to learn about entrepreneurship, taking their science-based projects and creating marketable products. In the end, their research will contribute to one of Ontario’s economic drivers — the agri-food industry. It’s a testament to the value of collaboration as a way to foster innovation. When you have scientists, government and industry working together, you get excellence.”

In Project SOY, cash prizes are awarded to students representing U of G and its regional campuses at Alfred, Kemptville and Ridgetown in two categories: diploma and undergraduate/graduate. First place wins $2,500; second place, $1,000; and third place, $500.

In the degree category, first place went to ASOY Plastic Inc.’s Richard Chen, Xiaobo Zhou and Praphulla Praphulla. Second place, for a product called Soytastic, was awarded to Claire Zhang and Jenifer Lu. Third place was a tie between Soy-Lite Ceilings, developed by Vidhya Nagarajan, and S’morbs, a product developed by John Antonio, David Davidovich, Mandy Ferg and Reid Berflez.

In the diploma category, first-place Ricosoy was created by Alicia Desaulniers and Melanie Sancartier of Alfred Campus. Second prize was won by Emilie Tessier, also from Alfred, for creating Sweet Soy.

“It was clear that many of the participants applied what they’d learned in class to their projects,” said Project SOY co-ordinator Alicia Scott. “The judges were impressed with the project presentations and spoke highly of the projects’ market potential.”

Students described and displayed their projects while networking with other students, faculty, industry representatives and guests at an open house prior to the awards ceremony. Guests browsed, questioned participants and even tasted the edible entries.

Project SOY is sponsored by DEKALB Brand Seeds, SOY 20/20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, OMAFRA and Grain Farmers of Ontario.


Owen Roberts
Director, Research Communications
519-824-4120, Ext. 58278

Alicia Scott
Student co-ordinator
519-824-4120, Ext. 53511

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1