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Project SOY 1998/1999 Winners

Diploma level entries


If Ben Arnold, a business agriculture student at Ridgetown Campus, has his way, 400,000 flutterboards made from Ontario Soybeans will soon be floating in pools around the world.

Arnold's first-place winning idea was a business plan for "Soyf's Up", a small-scale start-up company that would produce a soy-enhanced polyurethane foam. Flutterboards would launch the company, but Arnold says they're just one of the many creations that could stem from this new polyurethane.

The idea behind Soyf's Up is to produce soy-enhanced polyurethane that's stronger and cheaper than foam currently on the market. This will allow the products to be thinner and stronger than the industry standard. Arnold was able to produce this cheaper, stronger foam because he used soy meal instead of soy oil for making the polyurethane.

But, Arnold didn't concentrate solely on the creation of polyurethane. He devised an entire business plan for his company, calculating the necessary capital, bank loans and potential profit. He also developed a marketing strategy and determined his target market.

"I hope that my plan comes to realize itself and that my company, when established, achieves its production goals," says Arnold. "My ultimate hope however, is that one day the entire industry will be using soy-enhanced polyurethane in an effort to use more soybeans."


Alana Smith has a solution for those nature-loving individuals who refrain from camping because they hate insects and dirt.

This Ridgetown Campus horticulture student developed a business plan for Water Lily Soaps, a company that will produce a line of soy-based insect repellant and antibacterial bar soaps. Smith also made Lavender, Rose and Eucalyptus soaps. The idea won Smith a second place in the diploma category and a prize of $1,000.

The target market for Water Lily Soaps includes campers and adventurers who don't have cleansing products designed especially for their needs. Smith's environmentally friendly company zeros in on campers' needs. The products use no animal products, disperse well in water and are wrapped in recycled and recyclable paper.

The soaps are made with soybean oil and contain glycerin, which is beneficial for moisturizing the skin. They come in a variety of types, shapes and colours such as a white cloudy colour with a tint of red, yellow or blue. Aside from their environmentally friendly appeal, the soaps have an attractive appearance as well.

"I feel that nature-loving individuals are in need of products that respects our environment as much as they do," says Smith. "Companies like Water Lily Soaps will not only provide them with such products but will increase the use of Ontario soybeans as well."


Jonathan Coughlin, a Kemptville Campus agricultural student, relates the benefits of his winning Project Soy entry with the following analogy: Picture it. It's Monday morning and you're going to be late for work. Your stomach is growling so you quickly put some toast in the toaster. You get the butter from the fridge, the toast pops up, you go to swipe some butter on it and find it's rock hard. There's no time to fiddle with it so, once again you go to work hungry.

In the future, you may never have that problem again, thanks to Coughlin. He won third place in this year's diploma category for his entry of spreadable butter.

To make spreadable butter, Jonathan combined soybean oil with butter. The end product features the unmatched taste of butter with the spreadability of margarine. The health benefits of soybeans would make butter, which normally isn't considered a healthy food, more attractive to health-conscious consumers.

"This idea is beneficial to many," says Coughlin. "Spreadable butter would save everyone time. It would allow health-conscious consumers to enjoy the supreme taste of butter, and its healthy ingredients would raise the demand for soybeans."


Undergraduate/Graduate Category


This year, another winning light went on in the mind of Plant Agriculture graduate student Valerio Primomo -- and it's a light he intends to share with the public.

Last year, Primomo dazzled judges with his healthy, soybean-based frozen dessert drink creation called SoYummy. He picked up first place and $2,500 in Project SOY's graduate category. Now, he's in the winner's circle again, with Soylight soybean candles.

"Most commercially available candles emit carcinogens, so burning them adds to air pollution," says Primomo. "That's why I created Soylights: They're an environmentally friendly alternative to regular candles and they have the potential to increase the use of Ontario soybeans."

Soylight candles are made with soybean oil and are non-toxic, less smoky and tend to burn longer than traditional candles. They're elegant and come in many colours, scents, shapes, and sizes. Primomo used scented dyes, such as raspberry/red, citronella/yellow and apple/cinnamon/red to make the candles more attractive. To top it off, the candles are edible, which also makes them safe.

"Candles are becoming more and more popular, not only in churches and restaurants, but as a way of decorating our living space," says Primomo. "If we decorate our environment, why not do it in a way that won't damage it in the long run?"

Second place ribbonA SPI ON YOUR FRENCH FRY

Donuts, french fries, onion rings are all so good, yet so bad...for your health. But soon we might be able to enjoy these foods guilt-free, thanks to Project SOY's second place winners.

Engineering students Brian Maves, Veronica Ciolfi, Marilyn Rayner and Paul Stedman developed a soy protein coating that can be used to protect fried foods from absorbing too much saturated fat during deep frying.

"Saturated fatty acids are the key contributors to high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, and the main source of these fatty acids are the fried foods we all enjoy," says Maves. "This is why our product is crucial - coating foods before they're fried will protect us from potential health hazards and still allow us to enjoy the food's flavour."

After testing proteins from various sources, the team found that soy protein isolates (SPI) work best for creating successful protein film coatings. After frying foods coated with SPI, the students compared their work to non-coated fried foods. A 50 per cent fat reduction resulted from the film coating.

"Our product could be extremely beneficial to society," says Maves. "It reduces fat intake, increases protein intake, and it helps out Ontario soybean producers."

Third place ribbon (tie)WHAT'S IN THE WORKS? SOYWORKS . . .

The soybean industry is undergoing an exciting period of evolution and growth, and with the right marketing strategies it has great potential for future expansion.

Kevin Dilamarter and Laura Levac, International Development students, tied for third place with SoyWorks, a magazine dedicated solely to research and development in the soybean industry. The publication is intended to be a part of a marketing strategy to enhance the future of soybeans.

"SoyWorks is unique in its focus, being the only publication entirely about breakthroughs in the industry," says Levac. "Other publications either discuss aspects of production and aren't focused on research, or they're general farm publications and don't play an advocacy role for soybeans."

SoyWorks features different sections that appeal to various interests. There's a health section, analyzing the effects and implications of biotechnology on industry and public health. There's a student section dedicated to previous Project SOY winners, highlighting the role students can play in the soybean industry. And there's a research section that looks at the development of soy pest control.

"Right now, there's a void between the results of soybean research, biotechnology information and consumers,"says Dilamarter. "To effectively market the fastest-growing cash crop in Ontario, there must be a fresh and eye-catching publication that features innovations and developments in the industry, and that's exactly what SoyWorks is here for."

Third place ribbon (tie)SOYPOPSICLES . . . SOYUMMY!

SoyPops, delicious and nutritious frozen fruit bars, tied for third place this year in Project Soy. They were developed by food science students Janine Mosley and Kristina Tomljenovic. These tasty popsicles are made out of creamy Silken tofu and contain no objectionable soybean flavour.

"People of all walks of life can benefit from the nutraceutical properties of soybeans; they've been shown to reduce the occurrence of certain cancers and diseases,"says Tomljenovic. "SoyPops are a way of providing consumers with the benefits of soy in the form of a fun and tasty dessert."

SoyPops come in two fantastic flavours - Peach Mango Tango and Mountain Berry Mambo. Because Mosley and Tomljenovic reduced the beany taste of soybeans in their product, they deem SoyPops to be a tasty way of introducing soy to people who may not be regular consumers of soy products.

The duo also developed a business plan and a marketing plan for SoYummy, a company which would produce SoyPops.

"Currently there's nothing like SoyPops in Southern Ontario, so there's a potential niche market for frozen soy based fruit bars," says Mosley. "Since our company would be Canadian, we would use 100 per cent Canadian grown soybeans for our tofu production."

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