Vegan liqueur, skin exfoliant and aluminum foil substitute win big in Project SOY

Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2019

ontario soybean

Vegan liqueur, skin exfoliant and aluminum foil substitute win big in Project SOY

A cream liqueur for vegan- and lactose-intolerant consumers, a soybean-based skin exfoliant and edible soy protein substitute for aluminum foil are this year’s first-place projects at the University of Guelph’s 23rd annual Project SOY competition.

Project SOY (Soybean Opportunities for Youth) is an annual contest that harnesses students' creative power to develop new products and marketing strategies for soybeans. The event, held at the Government of Ontario building on One Stone Road, showcased 10 projects from 27 U of G students from the university’s Guelph and Ridgetown campuses.

In the diploma category, Riley Sharp won first prize for her SOS Skincare soy-based exfoliant. Noah Weber took second place for Soy Punch, a Caribbean-style beverage.

Topping the undergraduate category was Timothy Shuh, Mitchell Rice and Sean Mitchell for their soybean cream liqueur, 5th Bean. Second place went to Alyssa Francavilla, Carmen Tan and Stephanie Wong for their Okara flour innovation. Third place was awarded to Tara Allohverdi and Elizabeth Diederichs for Soyscreen, a soy-based sunscreen.

In the graduate category, first place went to Bruno Bottega Pergher, Maisyn Picard and Mateo Gonzalez de Gortari for Soyfit, an edible soy protein isolate. Second prize was awarded to Miguel Fuentes, Kjeld Meereboer, Mawath Qahtani and Gareth Chapman for biodegradable soy protein-based hygiene products, Soy Tips.

This year’s judges were Peter Gredig, Co-founder of AgNition, a mobile application software company specializing in agriculture and agri-food; Rajib Hazarika, Research and Innovation Advisor/Analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; and Tyler Zemlak, Business Incubation Services Manager with the University of Guelph. 

MC for the event was University of Guelph vice-president (research) Malcolm Campbell.

“The original intent of Project SOY was to help maintain momentum of the soybean industry and raise the production and awareness of the crop,” says Campbell. “Over 20 years later, soybeans have become one of Canada’s leading commodities.”

Students won cash prizes for diploma, undergraduate and graduate projects: first place, $2,500 second, $1,000; and third, $500.

Project SOY sponsors are the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and SeCan.