Agriculture News

March 29, 2017

HVAC filter, animal waste odor elimination and high protein food creations win in 2017 soybean innovation contest

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - When thinking of soy products, tofu, soymilk and soy candles may come to mind. However, Purdue University students have not limited themselves to the bounds of traditional soy products in an annual soybean innovation contest, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance.

The grand-prize winner from the 2017 Student Soybean Product Innovation Competition will share a $20,000 prize for their winning entry, FiltraSoy. This product is a soy-based HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) filter for use in residential and commercial applications. The product utilized a cold plasma treatment and renewable resources to make it an eco-friendly and cost-effective product with 15 percent more effectiveness than current high-efficiency HVAC filter technology.

Team winners are Andrew Huang, senior environmental and natural resources engineering student from Potomac, Maryland; Anderson Smith, senior environmental and natural resources engineering student from Fort Wayne, Indiana; Samaneh Saadat, doctoral student in agricultural and biological engineering from Shiraz Fars, Iran; and  Sushant Mehan, doctoral student in agricultural and biological engineering from Delhi, India.

“This year’s Soybean Product Innovation Contest once again illustrates the versatility and enormous potential of soybeans in the marketplace with 16 new soy-based products created by a talented group of Purdue students,” said Tom Griffiths, Indiana Soybean Alliance chairman and farmer from Kendallville, Indiana. “I hope that these students - including the majority who have no connection to agriculture - are inspired to pursue a career in our industry.”

The second place team created a product called Soy Poo-fession, which is a technology that uses soybean oil and soy lecithin to emulsify the water in a toilet bowl so that odors are eliminated and not just covered up like usual air fresheners. The possible application would be to mitigate or eliminate livestock manure smells. This team will split a $10,000 prize.

Kuan-Ting Lee, who is from Taiwan, and Yudi Wen of Shanghai, China, made up the second-place team. They are majoring in Food Science at Purdue.

The third place team created a high protein chocolate drop called Soy Droplets. A key benefit of this technology comes from the process of freeze-drying the recipe, which seems to have created a food product that does not have the usual protein sensory issues commonly seen with protein snacks.

The team of Peili Wang from Dongying, China, and Wenwen Zhou of Shanghai, China, will split a prize award of $1,500. Both Purdue students are majoring in Food Science.

The soy product competition benefits the agriculture industry by finding new and innovative ways to utilize soybeans. Many of the products end up as cost-saving, renewable products that are more environmentally friendly options than current products on the market. Indiana produces over 300 million bushels of soybeans each year and ranks 4th in production compared to other states.          

Writer: Mikaela Wieland,

Source: Megan Kuhn,

NOTE TO MEDIA: Photos of the winners are available on request.

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Shari Finnell, Manager/Media Relations and Public Information,  
Agriculture News Page

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