Food Packaging, Muffin Mix Take Top Prizes at Project SOY
Guelph - Biodegradable food packaging made from soybeans and soybean powder muffin mix were among the winners at this year's Project SOY (Soybean Opportunities for Youth) competition. The 14th annual event, was held yesterday at the Peter Clark Hall, showcased 18 projects from 37 University of Guelph students.
Project SOY awards cash prizes to students representing U of G and its regional campuses at Alfred, Kemptville and Ridgetown in two categories: diploma and undergraduate/graduate. First place wins $2,500, second place receives $1,000, and third place is awarded $500.
In the diploma category, Samuel Nyandwi of Campus d’Alfred won the top prize for developing PSOYA, a soy-based muffin mix that is high in protein and fibre and does not contain gluten, lactose or nuts. Second prize went to Brian Romanick of Ridgetown for SOYTasty Seasonings, and Lugi Stephano Bikoroti of Alfred captured third place for creating FROMASOYA
Topping the undergraduate/graduate category was Sara Bonham for Soya Plast BioPak, a soy-based, 100-per-cent compostable bioplastic food packaging material. Tonya Papanikolov, Matt McSweeney, Audrey Draper and Lauren Mertin took second place for developing FRITZ and Soysup. Third prize went to Meaghan Metcalf and Amanda Andreevski for Soylicious Ravioli.
Other project ideas in the competition included soy-based wind turbine blades, all-natural dry instant-pudding mix enriched with soy protein, a soy-based all-natural carbonated fruit drink and 100-per-cent natural biodegradable coffee cups.
“I’m in awe of the wide variety of projects in this competition,” said Prof. Kevin Hall, vice-president (research). “When I was a kid, no one ate soybeans or used them much for products. Now, that’s changing.”
Guest speaker Francis Lo, co-owner of Flamaglo Foods Limited and Yoso Brand soy-based food products, encouraged the participants to persevere with their ideas and to not give up.
“Here’s a business lesson: Even if you don’t win here today, don’t be discouraged,” he said. “You can still succeed in industry.” Indeed, Lo’s Yoso products started as a Project SOY entry 11 years ago. He didn’t make it to the finals, but he still went on to establish a 10-person company in Cambridge.
Project SOY is sponsored by Dekalb Brand Seeds; SOY20/20; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; and the Grain Farmers of Ontario.