Purdue Students Win $4,500 For Vegetarian Gelatin Dessert

May 06, 1999

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- For those who prefer that their fluorescent foodstuffs be vegetarian, two Purdue University students have invented a new gelatin dessert.

Junior Ryan Howard and sophomore Faye Mulvaney, both of Indianapolis, developed "NuSoy Gel," a gelatin soy protein dessert that can replace Jell-O, that quivering dessert that is a staple at potluck suppers and family gatherings.

The students created the new product for the fifth annual "Innovative Uses for Soybeans Contest," which was sponsored by the Purdue Agronomy Department and the Indiana Soybean Board. The two received $4,500 for their effort.

Gelatin is typically made from the animal protein collagen, which is extracted from skin, bone and connective tissue of food animals. The new vegetarian dessert is made from a gel base made of water, fructose, high-gelling soy protein and carrageenan, which is made from seaweed. The students prepared cherry, orange and lemon flavors of their gelatin for the contest.

Mulvaney says she and Howard developed the product after thinking about the dietary needs of patients in hospitals. "Many sick people can only have a clear liquid diet while they are in the hospital, but the current gelatin dessert served in hospitals doesn't offer many nutrients. Our gelatin provides important nutrients," she says.

In addition to creating the product, Howard and Mulvaney also developed packaging and a marketing plan, and even created a Web site that promotes their new food (http://www.welovesoy.com).

Howard is majoring in agricultural and biological engineering, and Mulvaney is majoring in pharmacy. They were advised by Martin Okos, professor of biochemical and food process engineering. Howard and Mulvaney also won last year's contest, which called for students to create a new industrial product. For that contest they developed a soybean-based ski wax.

Bernie Tao, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, says the contest asked students to come up with new soy food products. "We wanted to emphasize the health benefits of soybean materials in foods," Tao says. "The four products developed by this year's participants all contain valuable isoflavones, which are found in soy foods, as well as protein, without any fat or cholesterol."

Some studies have suggested that isoflavones could be a part of the reason why Asian cultures, which have diets high in soy-based food products, have a lower incidence of diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and heart disease. The new gelatin dessert naturally contains isoflavones, and it is also fortified with calcium and vitamin C.

Other winning entries: "The purpose of the contest is to give students the opportunity to use their scientific and technical education and skills to actually create potentially commercial products from soybeans and their components," Tao says. "Teaching students first-hand about how industrial products are created is an important part of their education. In this contest, the focus isn't just on the technology, but other issues, too, including economics, practical production concerns, product safety and feasibility."

Steve Ludwig, executive director of the Indiana Soybean Board who is also a farmer in Blackford County, Ind., says that finding new uses for soybeans is a high priority with soybean farmers. "The Soybean Innovation Contest at Purdue, funded by the Indiana soybean checkoff, has been a big asset to soybean farmers in finding new ways to use soybeans. Two previous winners, soybean crayons and soybean candles, are very good examples of the success of this program," Ludwig says. "This year's entries are very timely and exciting in light of the new health-claim labeling proposal for soy products that the FDA is currently considering."
-end-
Sources:
Bernie Tao, 765-494-1183; tao@ecn.purdue.edu; http://ABE.www.ecn.purdue.edu/ABE/Fac_Staff/tao
Steve Ludwig, 800-735-0195; sludwig@in-motion.net
Ryan Howard, 765-463-6665 (campus); 317-253-6627 (home); ryhoward@ecn.purdue.edu
Faye Mulvaney, 765-746-1267 (campus); 317-251-8784 (home); fmulvane@pasture.ecn.purdue.edu

Color photo, electronic transmission, and Web and ftp download available. Photo ID: Tao.99contest.



Purdue University

Related Protein Articles from Brightsurf:

The protein dress of a neuron
New method marks proteins and reveals the receptors in which neurons are dressed

Memory protein
When UC Santa Barbara materials scientist Omar Saleh and graduate student Ian Morgan sought to understand the mechanical behaviors of disordered proteins in the lab, they expected that after being stretched, one particular model protein would snap back instantaneously, like a rubber band.

Diets high in protein, particularly plant protein, linked to lower risk of death
Diets high in protein, particularly plant protein, are associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, finds an analysis of the latest evidence published by The BMJ today.

A new understanding of protein movement
A team of UD engineers has uncovered the role of surface diffusion in protein transport, which could aid biopharmaceutical processing.

A new biotinylation enzyme for analyzing protein-protein interactions
Proteins play roles by interacting with various other proteins. Therefore, interaction analysis is an indispensable technique for studying the function of proteins.

Substituting the next-best protein
Children born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy have a mutation in the X-chromosome gene that would normally code for dystrophin, a protein that provides structural integrity to skeletal muscles.

A direct protein-to-protein binding couples cell survival to cell proliferation
The regulators of apoptosis watch over cell replication and the decision to enter the cell cycle.

A protein that controls inflammation
A study by the research team of Prof. Geert van Loo (VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research) has unraveled a critical molecular mechanism behind autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and psoriasis.

Resurrecting ancient protein partners reveals origin of protein regulation
After reconstructing the ancient forms of two cellular proteins, scientists discovered the earliest known instance of a complex form of protein regulation.

Sensing protein wellbeing
The folding state of the proteins in live cells often reflect the cell's general health.

Read More: Protein News and Protein Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.