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Young inventors not feeling down
in the mouth

By KEITH ROBINSON

Teams of Purdue students who developed a soy-based denture adhesive and a liquid bandage out of corn have won the top prizes in the 2011 Student Soybean and Corn Innovation Contests.

The competition, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, teaches students how to be innovative entrepreneurs with corn and soybeans.

Photo by Tom Campbell

Team members who developed an all–natural denture cream adhesive they call Dentural took the top prize in the Student Soybean Innovation Contest. They are, from left, Manaz Taleyarkhan of Lafayette, Ind; Ankit Gupta of Carmel, Ind; David Barron of Saline, Mich; and Alvin Ang of Malaysia.

"The versatility of corn and soybeans is limitless, and these competitions serve as a showcase not only for the potential new uses of crops grown here in Indiana but also for the students who put their time, effort and talent into their projects," said Jane Ade Stevens, executive director for both the corn and soybean checkoff organizations.

Some products that students have created in previous contest years have led to commercial development and further research, including soy crayons, ski wax, hardwood floor coating, stovetop cleaners, and a soy-based coffee additive, among others.

"Indiana corn and soybean farmers are committed to working with Purdue to continue to build excitement around the new uses competitions, which ultimately help build demand for corn and soybeans," Stevens said.

Team members who developed Dentural, the first-place entry in the soybean contest this year, presented an all-natural adhesive for full dentures. The product is a paste consisting of soy products that form a vacuum to keep dentures in place. It is an alternative to synthetic chemicals used in other products.

Team leader Alvin Ang of Malaysia said the group chose to develop Dentural after learning that other denture creams contain zinc, leading to health concerns.

"So we decided to come up with a safer and better way," said Ang, a senior chemical engineering student. He said one dentist already is interested in the product.

The team will share a cash award of $20,000. Other members are Manaz Taleyarkhan of Lafayette, Ind.; David Barron of Saline, Mich.; and Ankit Gupta of Carmel, Ind.

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