Purdue lands $1.1 million grant for research into soy products

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Purdue students process products in the Skidmore Lab. (Photo courtesy of Purdue University Agricultural Communications)

The Purdue University Food Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Institute received a $1.1 million grant from the United Soybean Board. Purdue says the funding will support a project to build infrastructure and connectivity for small- and medium-scale processing of soy products.

The project, which is a partnership with the University of Arkansas and the University of Missouri, was spurred by national discussions regarding the soybean value chain. Purdue Associate Professor and FEMI Director Dharmendra Mishra leads the project.

“Soybeans currently produce the highest protein yields per unit area of ​​any other plant source,” Mishra said. “The main challenge is that quality issues related to flavor and functionality have impacted the use of soy protein products currently available for food.”

Purdue says the project will “focus on phenotyping compositional traits in new value-added applications, testing to remove pressure on small and medium-scale industrial sectors, and end-product quality and sensory evaluations.”

According to Mishra, global demand for soy protein isolate/concentrate is expected to grow 80-fold, and the global meat substitute market is estimated to reach $140 billion by 2029.

“There was a critical need to help soybean farmers and soybean processors,” Mishra said. “Our project proposes to solve the bottleneck of small and medium scale processing and facilitate the scaling of preserved identity (IP) systems through our multi-state team. Our project is part of the overall strategic vision of the connectivity of soybean users to the market.

The construction site, which began at the beginning of the month, should last a year.

“Soy products have continued to grow over the past few years and expect continued growth in the future,” said Senay Simsek, department head and professor of food science. “Through this grant, Purdue Food Science will be a hub for research, development, and education that will connect and bridge the gaps between growers, breeders, researchers, students, the food industry, and consumers. consumers.”

The Food and Agriculture Research Foundation is also supporting the project with partial funding. The organization supports research activities related to plant health and production, agricultural economics and rural communities, and agricultural and food security.

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