A few years ago, soy-based candles were a novelty. Today, they are the industry standard. Purdue University student Ruth Pinto hopes the same will be true for soy-based jam and cosmetics.
Ruth Pinto (Photo courtesy Indiana Soybean Board)
Both products captured prizes this year in two contests for ingenious soybean uses.
Pinto and fellow team members Courtney Howard and Philip Dorrol developed pectin for preserving fruit jams, which was named the winning product in the Indiana Soybean Board/Purdue University-sponsored competition for innovative uses for soybeans. They used soybean hulls, which don't require the drying that traditional pectin does and don't change the jam taste. Soybean hulls also are less expensive.
"Not only have I learned more about research and new product development, I learned teamwork and communication,” says Pinto, a biological and food process engineering major.
Pinto and Howard also won the 19th annual Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition, sponsored by Purdue's Discovery Park. Howard and Pinto entered their plan for producing, marketing and distributing a line of soy-based, all-natural cosmetics. Their first product, a soy-based nail-polish remover, also won the 2005 Indiana Soybean Board competition.
The duo will start with marketing nail-polish remover and plans to expand into makeup, soap, lotions and hair-care products. “Our next step is to work with the Indiana Soybean Board to receive licensing for our first product,” Howard says.
Department of Agronomy
Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Department of Food Science