Bone-healthy breath strips win Project SOY
Bone-healthy breath strips and biodegradable planters were the top winners in this year's Project SOY (Soybean Opportunities for Youth), an annual contest for University of Guelph students to develop new uses and markets for soybeans.
The event wrapped up April 3 in Guelph with an awards ceremony attended by Ontario Minister of Agriculture and Food Helen Johns. The minister, U of G president Mordechai Rozanski and Peter Hannam, president of First Line Seeds, presented the winners with first-, second- and third-place awards valued at $2,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively. Eight student teams competed in the contest.
First place went to Flavone Ice, breath strips containing bone-healthy isoflavones. They were developed by master of science student Vicky Lee and hospitality and tourism MBA student Wilda Lau. Lee and Lau got the idea for Flavone Ice after reading government literature recommending 90 mg of isoflavones – the secondary nutrients contained in soybeans – a day to help prevent osteoporosis. Each Flavone Ice strip acts quickly to freshen breath and contains 30 mg of isoflavones. "Having three strips throughout the day could have positive effects on bone health," said Lau.
Second place went to biological engineering undergraduate students Renzo Gomez, Brian Palmer and Stephanie Sage for biodegradable planters called Plant Soylutions. Because soy contains nitrogen, which plants require for growth, the plant containers made of soy reduce labour for the gardener, eliminate waste of empty containers and help the plant grow.
Third place went to food science students Alice Lee, Marie-Claire Hurteau, Elizabeth Raditsis and Linda Shantz for Pastawave — a soy macaroni and cheese product. Honourable mentions (and $250 cash prizes) went to nutritional science students Katrina MacAlpine, Karine Baser and Kar-Yan Chui for SmartStart Power Muffin Mix.
Project SOY was initiated in 1996 to harness the creativity of students in finding innovative new uses for soybeans, the number one cash crop in Ontario. Winning Project SOY ideas in the past have included soy-based fish food, edible food packaging, soy-based udder balm and heart-healthy soy bagels.
Student participants in Project SOY who want to advance their products to the commercialization stage can apply to the Hannam Soybean Utilization Fund for assistance. The fund is a $1-million gift to the University of Guelph from Hannam, an Ontario Agricultural College graduate who was instrumental in initiating Project SOY.
Project SOY is sponsored by First Line Seeds and the University of Guelph, with additional support from the Ontario Soybean Growers, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Maple Leaf Foods International. Students at the University of Guelph and at its affiliate colleges in Ridgetown, Kemptville and Alfred are eligible to participate.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.