Creativity abounds in the new soy products produced by five teams of Purdue University students participating in the Indiana Soybean Alliance’s 2008 Student Soybean Product Innovation Competition. This is the largest field of competitors ever in the soybean checkoff-funded contest.

New this year was People’s Choice Award. The winner of the award was determined by popular vote of those attending the April 15 awards ceremony in Indianapolis. The creators of Scoops, an edible ice cream dish composed of soy products, took home the award and a cash prize of $600, which was also sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA).

Team members included: Clay Arnett, a senior in organizational leadership from Circle Pines, MN.; Todd Case, a senior in food science from Fishers, IN.; and Brian Hunter, a junior in economics from Mill Creek, IN. Their team advisor is Stroh Brann of the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

“Indiana soybean farmers, through soy checkoff investments made by the Indiana Soybean Alliance, have a proud tradition of developing innovative new uses for soybeans,” says Chris Novak, ISA executive director. “This tradition is built on a foundation of enthusiasm and creativity from Purdue researchers and students seeking environmentally friendly, renewable products that bring added value to Indiana farmers and Indiana’s economy.”

“We thought that the People’s Choice Award added a fun element to this year’s competition,” Novak adds.

In addition to the Scoops ice cream bowl, products judged in this year’s competition included a soy-based coal replacement, soy clay pigeon, soy after-sun lotion and soy liqueur.

The purpose of the overall competition is to encourage students to use their scientific and technical education and skills to create potentially commercial products from soybeans and their components. A group of judges ranked the products into three tiers, with the payout to teams ranging from $1,500 to $7,500.