a photo of the 3 creators of the soybean cream liqueur, 5th Bean
Timothy Shuh, Mitchell Rice and Sean Mitchell for their soybean cream liqueur, 5th Bean

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’ creativity to develop new products and marketing strategies for soybeans. Friday’s event showcased 10 projects from 27 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.

In the undergraduate category, Timothy Shuh, Mitchell Rice and Sean Mitchell were first for their soybean cream liqueur, 5th Bean; Alyssa Francavilla, Carmen Tan and Stephanie Wong, second for their Okara flour innovation; and Tara Allohverdi and Elizabeth Diederichs, third 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; and second to Miguel Fuentes, Kjeld Meereboer, Mawath Qahtani and Gareth Chapman for biodegradable soy protein-based hygiene products, Soy Tips.

“The original intent of Project SOY was to help maintain momentum of the soybean industry and raise the production and awareness of the crop,” said event emcee Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research). “Over 20 years later, soybeans have become one of Canada’s leading commodities.

Students won cash prizes for diploma, undergraduate and graduate projects worth $2,500 (first), $1,000 (second) and $500 (third).

This year’s judges were Peter Gredig, co-founder of AgNition, a mobile application software company in agriculture and agri-food; Rajib Hazarika, research and innovation adviser/analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA); and Tyler Zemlak, business incubation services manager with the University of Guelph.

Project SOY sponsors were OMAFRA, SeCan and Oilseed Innovation Partners.

More information:

Owen Roberts, director, research communications
519-824-4120, Ext. 58278