Campus News

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

News Release

November 02, 2004

Research awards promote new soybean uses and markets

Innovative medical, industrial and nutritive uses for Ontario soybeans are the focus of research being conducted this year through the University of Guelph’s Hannam Soybean Utilization Fund (HSUF).

Established in 2000 by U of G alumnus and former president of First Line Seeds Ltd. Peter Hannam and his family, the fund is designed to increase soybean uptake and marketability.

Research being sponsored this year through HSUF includes efforts to promote genetic markers for better-tasting soybeans, a soy-based fish feed for rainbow trout and new soy-based materials to boost nutritional values in foods.

“Researchers are building a foundation of innovation for the future,” said Terry Daynard, associate dean for research and innovation at the Ontario Agricultural College. “These awards allow them to engage in ongoing research designed to benefit farming, health and Ontario’s economy.”

The funded projects span several departments and two colleges. Animal science professor Dominique Bureau is feeding soy meal to rainbow trout to see if it enhances the nutritional value of the fish and if it appeals more to consumers who prefer protein sources that have not been fed animal by-products.

In another project, plant agriculture professor Peter Pauls is trying to erase the unpleasant “beany” flavour found in soy products such as soy milk. His research, which is entering its second year, involves mapping out genetic differences in soybeans to help determine which taste less beany. Pauls hopes to identify bean varieties suitable for producing soy-based products and improving existing less palatable products.

Food science professors Milena Corredig and Douglas Dalgleish are using the HSUF funding to study and design new soy- and milk-based nutritional complexes. The goal of this research is to enable food-processing companies to prepare foods containing high levels of protein, using ingredients specifically tailored to their applications. This project is entering its second year.

On the medical front, a soy-based slow-release medication compound is under development by food scientists Peter Purslow and Massimo Marcone. The compound will be completely biodegradable, with applications in the livestock industry, field crops and, eventually, human health.

And nutritional scientists Alison Duncan and Bruce Holub are working with soy isoflavones and fish oil to develop a supplement that could reduce the unhealthy side effects of excessive dietary fat. When taken alone, isoflavones are known to have high nutritional value. This research is trying to determine if a combined supplement will be even more beneficial to human health, specifically for the reduction of risk for cardiovascular disease.

The HSUF is administered by a 10-member advisory board chaired by the dean of OAC and involves staff and faculty from the departments of food science and plant agriculture, the school of engineering and the Office of Research.

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

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