Research roundup

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Working with soybeans’ natural anti-inflammatory properties
Alexandra Sawatzky
Ontario consumers may have a new reason to incorporate soybeans into their diets. In addition to being rich in both macro- and micronutrients, increasing attention is being directed towards soybeans’ powerful disease- fighting potential.

Of particular interest is the role of soy proteins in reducing chronic gut inflammation. Professor Yoshinori Mine, in the Department of Food Sciences at the University of Guelph, is working to develop dietary supplements from Ontario- grown soybeans that may help ease painful and harmful inflammation.

Soy peptides, comprised of short chains of amino acids, can be produced relatively inexpensively and are easily incorporated into supplemental form, or nutraceuticals. Following consumption, they have little to no side effects or after taste, making them attractive to consumers as alternative or complementary therapies.

Mine hopes to use these results to improve consumer awareness about the benefits of soy consumption and the positive role a healthy diet can play in managing both chronic inflammation and consequent disease risks.

Further, results from this project will capitalize on how value-added soy nutraceuticals present opportunities for increased expansion of the agri-food sector.

Mine’s collaborators at the University of Guelph include Professor Ming Fan, in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, research associate Jennifer Kovacs-Nolan, and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Denise Young.

This project was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and AFMNet. •
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Research Roundup is provided by members of SPARK (Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge) at the University of Guelph’s Office of Research. For more information, contact a SPARK writer at 519-824-4120, ext. 52667.

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