Soyder: the next craft trend?

Necessity is the mother of invention. In the case of Alexandra Camara, Laura Manerus and Natalie Martic, soy-based cider is their brainchild.

With the potential to win $2,500, the University of Guelph undergraduate students entered the annual Project SOY competition to prove the versatility and taste attributes of soy. Now in its 21st year, Project SOY (Soybean Opportunities for Youth) challenges students to invent new products. The quest involves a variety of creative skills, from conceiving a product that intersects with current consumer trends to designing an attractive package.

Soyder – using food-grade soybeans – was added to cider. Their rationale was to look at alternative products to use in the fermenting process of generating alcohol. Their mentor was Dr. Van der Merwe in the University of Guelph’s Molecular and Cellular Biology Department who studies yeast strains and makes them specific to certain brewing practices.

The result? Soyder has the consistency of an unfiltered wheat beer. It holds a nice head and has an apple flavour to it.

I haven’t tasted the product, but if it won the hearts of the judges including Peter Hannam, one of Ontario’s best-known soybean growers and a University of Guelph alumnus, then I’m in.
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Photo caption: University of Guelph undergraduate students Natalie Martic (left), Alexandra Camara and Laura Manerus, celebrate their first-place win at Project Soy 2017 with their product — soy-based cider.