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Soy-based baby wipes a winning product

Slideshow: Team SoySilk takes first place at Purdue’s Student Soybean Innovation Competition.

8 Slides

Team SoySilk emerged the winner of Purdue’s 2024 Student Soybean Innovation Competition. The soy-based baby wipes the team members pitched to the contest’s judges address concerns with current wipe contents while also creating another avenue for Indiana soybeans.

Purdue students from 15 teams displayed their ideas for soy-based products at the competition following a rigorous development process and multiple pitches. The annual event, hosted and funded by Indiana Soybean Alliance, draws students from a variety of majors to combine their ideas and create a product that could help drive demand for soybeans while addressing drawbacks with current product offerings.

Ben Gottlieb and Kyle Han pioneered the idea for plastic-free baby wipes that would use Indiana soybeans. Taking the first-place prize, the pair will receive $20,000 to put toward patenting and further development of the product.

Coming in second place and receiving $10,000 was Team SoyBox. Laurian Lien and Lewis Polansky developed a soy-based packaging board for liquids that would simplify the manufacturing process for making those packages.

Team Green Eggs, No Ham! earned the third-place prize of $5,000. They developed a soy-based egg that can be used as a one-to-one substitute for real eggs, mimicking their properties and flavor. Team members include Alekhya Ankaraju, Christopher Mechalke, William Meyer and Amanda Wolf.

Here are an additional four teams that showcased their products at the event:

Soy Chew. Team members Karthik Digavalli, Munn Patel, Saanvi Venkatesan and Vincent Vo created a chewing gum from soy protein isolate.

ReSoy. This team developed a lining for coffee cups and other containers to make those paper containers biodegradable. Members are Nosa Idahagbon, Linh Nghiem, Mary Oluyemi and Alexandra Watson.

GreenGuard. Team members Joseph Diamond-Pott, Andrew Rosenberg, Anthony Scott and Brandon Verone created a soy-based cigarette filter to make cigarette butts more biodegradable.

Soy Sheets. This team made a soy-based laundry detergent to coat dryer sheets and create a laundry product that can move from washer to dryer. Creators include Owen Connelly, Travis Seward, Fabian Sixl and Charles Wang.

Browse the slideshow to learn more about these products. The remainder of the teams and their products will be highlighted in a second story, tomorrow at

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About the Author(s)

Allison Lund

Indiana Prairie Farmer Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Allison Lund worked as a staff writer for Indiana Prairie Farmer before becoming editor in 2024. She graduated from Purdue University with a major in agricultural communications and a minor in crop science. She served as president of Purdue’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter. In 2022, she received the American FFA Degree. 

Lund grew up on a cash grain farm in south-central Wisconsin, where the primary crops were corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Her family also raised chewing tobacco and Hereford cattle. She spent most of her time helping with the tobacco crop in the summer and raising Boer goats for FFA projects. She lives near Winamac, Ind.

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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