Creative new food and beverage ideas aren’t limited to corporate campuses. College and university campuses are just as important.
That fact isn’t lost on DuPont Nutrition & Health. That’s why the company created an annual Knowledge Award (KA) program. The food industry supplier wants to recognize and honor creative new product activity at U.S. colleges and universities.
“We believe universities are the breeding grounds for new ideas,” says Jennifer Lindsey, DuPont Nutrition & Health’s director of marketing. “The fresh perspective and creative energy of college students is inspiring and provides valuable insights about emerging trends. That’s why we’re proud to support the food scientists of tomorrow with the Knowledge Award.”
DuPont has held a new product ideation contest since 2003 and recognizes the KA winners at Prepared Foods’ annual New Products Conference. Each year, DuPont recognizes three top new product concepts and financially supports those universities’ food science programs (first place, $10,000; second place, $5,000; and third place, $2,000).
For the record, DuPont Danisco’s ingredient line includes antimicrobials, antioxidants, betaine, natural colors, cultures, emulsifiers, enzymes, functional fibers and extracts, hydrocolloids, phytosterols, prebiotics, probiotics and sweeteners. The company requires that competing KA teams formulate their items with two or more of these ingredients. Entrants (individuals or teams) must be enrolled in an accredited four-year college or university; and be enrolled in food science or a related major as a junior, senior or graduate level student with a faculty sponsor-advisor.
This year’s competition involved 24 entries from 12 universities. Experienced industry new product developers evaluated contestants’ offerings, which included a written report and specific product criteria. From there, judges selected 12 semi-finalists and then ranked three winners according to a 200-point scale.
This year’s winners are a functional beverage, “Harvest: Run Blue” from Clemson University; “Sweet Potato Crisps” from Kansas State University (KSU); and a healthy, functional dessert, “Blast Sorbet,” also from Clemson.
Dr. Margaret Condrasky is an associate professor at Clemson’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.
“The Knowledge Award program provides students from our Food, Nutrition and Packaging Science Departments with a unique, experiential learning opportunity,” she says. “Students assume the roles of a product development food manufacturing team and fully engage in the process from ideation through product testing. They have the opportunity to research ingredients and to incorporate DuPont ingredients for food products into new foods during the process, which is both exciting and valuable for them.”
“The synergy of our teams–in regard to demonstrating their creativity, as well as motivation to stay on task in order to meet difficult deadlines–is incredibly valuable,” Dr. Condrasky adds. “These experiences appear to enhance the readiness of our graduates for careers in the food manufacturing industry.”
Echoing those sentiments is Dr. Kelly Getty, an associate professor at KSU’s Food Science Institute.
“The DuPont Knowledge Award has challenged my students in the product development course to excel in developing a new food product that simulates the real-world food industry process,” she says. “To be successful, students must be dedicated to spend hours outside of the classroom in developing a formulation and testing their food product. Krista McKay and Josh Sinning were thrilled that their hard work literally ‘paid off,’ and that they could learn more about product development by attending the [Prepared Foods’ New Product] conference.”
DuPont Nutrition & Health says it will broaden the innovation pipeline and the 2013 contest with more ingredients, such as specialty proteins and lecithin.
“We purchased Solae LLC (in May 2012), and they now are part of DuPont Nutrition & Health,” says Rebecca Bingman, DuPont Nutrition & Health marketing communications. “That extends our line–and students’ formulation options–to include Solae soy proteins, isolates, nuggets, lecithin and soy fiber.” pf
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And the Award Goes to ...
First Place Award – Harvest: Run Blue
School: Clemson University
Description: “Harvest: Run Blue is a great-tasting, nutritious beverage that contains the healthful benefits of fresh fruits and whole grains. This beverage is rich in nutrients, including dietary fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, iron and protein. It contains only 230 calories per 12oz serving and 12g of whole grain from barley and oats.”
Key ingredients*: XIVIA, C Xylitol, MicroGARD 200, GRINSTED Pectin SY 200, HOWARU Dohilus 100 and Litesse Two polydextrose
Team members: Zachary Hopkins (team leader), Andrea Musselwhite, Samantha King, Jamieson Boyer, Gabrielle Gunter, Daniel Hutcherson and Dr. Margaret Condrasky (faculty advisor).
Second Place Award – Sweet Potato Crisps
School: Kansas State University
Description: “This sweet potato crisp combines sweet potatoes, carrots and whole-wheat flour. This snack provides a healthier alternative to chips and meets consumer demands for products containing whole wheat, vegetables and fiber. These crisps are choles-terol-free, low in fat, and they provide vitamin A, calcium and iron. They contain fewer total carbohydrates than traditional potato chips.”
Key ingredients*: PANODAN 205K Datem, GUARDIAN Toco 70
Team members: Krista McKay (leader) Josh Sinning and Dr. Kelly Getty (faculty advisor).
Third Place Award – Blast Sorbet
School: Clemson University
Description: “Blast Sorbet is a healthy sorbet with mint extract, raspberry puree, blueberry puree, blackberry puree, sweet potato puree, carrot puree and omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of flaxseed oil). The flavor is rich and decadent, yet refreshing, with an intense berry flavor accented by mint.”
Key ingredients*: GRINSTED SSD-5328 Stabilizer System, GUARDIAN Toco 70 and XIVIA C Xylitol
Team members: Courtney Chiang (leader), Josh Galvarino, Kristiaan Fish, Lauren Wiseman, Dorothy Kerrison, Chris Milhouse and Dr. Margaret Condrasky (faculty advisor).
*Patented, registered, trademarked DuPont Danisco ingredients
Visit www.danisco.com/know-ledge for more information about 2012 Knowledge Award honorees and DuPont’s 2013 competition. Readers also may contact Rebecca Bingman, DuPont Nutrition & Health marketing communications, at Rebecca.Bingman@dupont.com or at 800-255-6837, ext. 3436.