Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

September 23, 2003

Soybean research will advance human health, environment

Four research projects aimed at improving environment, human health and soybean-based products have received support from the University of Guelph’s Hannam Soybean Utilization Fund.

The $1-million fund was established in 2001 by U of G graduate and First Line Seeds co-founder Peter Hannam and his family to promote innovative medical, industrial and nutritive uses and marketing strategies for Ontario soybeans. “The Ontario Agricultural College is about innovation – making a difference in society – based on world-class research,” said OAC dean Craig Pearson. “This fund supports such innovation.”

The awards are granted by a soybean expert advisory board, consisting of industry and academic soybean specialists. “The myriad soybean uses continue to amaze me,” Hannam said. “It is very rewarding to engage the talents of University of Guelph faculty and students in these projects.”
Projects that received support this year are:

• Research on soy protein isolate, the protein extracted from soybean flakes produced during processing. Food science professor Peter Purslow and adjunct professor Massimo Marcone are using the protein isolate to develop a natural control-release delivery system that will allow pharmaceuticals, micronutrients, pesticides and herbicides to be released on a designed time schedule. The goal is to reduce the chance of environmental damage, physiological side effects and potential drug resistance, as well as to improve chemical performance and safety.

• Explaining how soy proteins interact with other proteins. Food science professors
Milena Corredig and Douglas Dalgleish also hope to determine whether interactions between these proteins could lead to nutritional benefits for consumers.

• Developing soybean-based fish food for rainbow trout. Rainbow trout is the most economically important fish species grown in Ontario, with an estimated production value of $65 million. The research by animal and poultry science professor Dominique Bureau was initiated in response to consumer concerns about animal-based protein feed.

• Eliminating soybeans’ “beany” taste from soy milk. Soybean oils are heart-healthy because they’re polyunsaturated, but that same characteristic also makes them prone to oxidation, which is responsible for the undesirable taste. Plant agriculture professor Peter Pauls received continued funding for this research, which also involves Vaino Poysa and Kangfu Yu of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, plant agriculture professor Istvan Rajcan and Gary Ablett of Ridgetown College.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

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