Everyone knows the nation’s colleges and universities compete on the football field and basketball court. But did you know they also compete in the R&D lab?
DuPont Nutrition & Health, New Century, Kan., hosted its 11th annual new product development competition and it drew 22 entries from 15 universities nationwide. DuPont recognized Knowledge Award winners and three top new product concepts at Prepared Foods’ annual New Products Conference this September; and the company awarded prize money to the winning teams (first place, $10,000; second place, $5,000; and third place, $2,000).
Once again, the DuPont Knowledge Award product competition demonstrates that collegiate food science faculty and students are on pace with on-trend product concepts, consumer interests and ingredient technologies.
For the record, the DuPont Danisco ingredient line includes antimicrobials, antioxidants, betaine, natural colors, cultures, emulsifiers, enzymes, functional fibers and extracts, hydrocolloids, probiotics, specialty proteins, sweeteners and tailored blends. The company requires that competing Knowledge Award 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.
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.
Louisiana State University captured this year’s first place honors with Medittage, a low-fat Mediterranean cottage cheese. Perennial contender Clemson University finished second with Stone Stove’s Tex-Mex Cod Pizza, a healthy Tex-Mex protein entrée on a whole wheat flatbread crust. The University of Wisconsin finished third with EZ Buffins, zucchini bread-based muffins packed with peppers, cheese and eggs.
Leading LSU’s first place team was Jose Estrada Andino, a second year Ph.D. student.
“We liked the impact of this national competition because it resembles real industry situations. It also gave us the opportunity to work alongside DuPont´s technical and applications staff,” he says. “The competition standards are very high and demanding, which make good teamwork very important. We realized that being able to work collaboratively from ideation to creation on a commercial new product offering is a key element for success in the food industry.”
Echoing those sentiments is Dr. Margaret Condrasky, an associate professor in Clemson’s Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences.
“Our student participation with the DuPont Nutrition & Health Knowledge Awards provides experience with ‘real world’ application as well as industry collaboration that can impact our students’ futures,” she says. “We have made our participation in this competition part of our curriculum because these are noteworthy goals that benefit our students and the university.”
Becky Bingman is the marketing communications manager at DuPont Nutrition & Health.
“This year was fantastic because there were winners from universities that had never before placed in the top three in the competition—and that goes back to the competition’s inception in 2004,” she says. “It was nice to see a new set of universities become such a big part of the 2014 Knowledge Awards.”
For more information:
DuPont Nutrition & Health
2014 Competition Honorees
First Place Award – Medittage
School: Louisiana State University
Description: “This low-fat cottage cheese has a crumbly texture, sun-dried tomatoes and a dressing with Mediterranean herbs and a touch of olive oil. It’s a delicious high-protein snack, dip or side dish. Medittage is aimed at middle-class, health-conscious consumers with active lifestyles. Replacing standard cottage cheese dressing with an olive oil dressing, this high-protein snack can contribute to satiety and complement weight-loss efforts.”
Key ingredients*: MicroGARD 430 Antimicrobial, GUARDIAN Rosemary Extract 08, CHOOZIT MC 70 FRO Starter Culture
Team members: Jose Estrada (leader), Namrata Karki, Kennet Carabante, Samantha Stein and Dr. Jack Losso (faculty advisor).
Second Place Award – Stone Stove’s Tex-Mex Cod Pizza
School: Clemson University
Description: “This twist on a classic Italian pizza combines cod with bold Tex-Mex flavors. At only 320 calories per serving, this healthy frozen entrée provides an alternative source of lean protein on a whole wheat flatbread crust. Fresh salsa verde and a hint of green chile complement a blend of authentic Mexican cheeses and char-grilled cod. The primary target consumers are 18-35 years old—including those with kids—as they tend to value convenience, flavor and nutrition.”
Key ingredients*: GUARDIAN Rosemary Extract, GRINDSTED Xanthan 80, Nisaplin Antimicrobial
Team members: Matthew Craig (leader), Daniel Hillman, Mollye
MacNaughton, Paul Landeene, Callie Stone and Dr. Margaret Condrasky
Third Place Award – EZ Buffins
School: University of Wisconsin
Description: “EZ Buffins is a zucchini bread-based muffin packed with peppers, cheese, eggs and loads of flavor. It offers on-the-go convenience as well as high protein and high fiber to appeal to the health-conscious consumer. The target market is busy women, ages 20-40 (and potentially their children) who are looking for a healthy, yet filling and delicious breakfast without the guilt.”
Key ingredients*: GRINSTED Cellulose Gum BAK 130, Litesse Polydextrose, Natamax B Plus Antimicrobial.
Team members: Emily Benas (leader), Ellie Schroeder, Leah Iocco, Ariana Arlt and Professor Arnoldo Lopez-Hernandez (faculty advisor).
*Patented, registered, trademarked DuPont Danisco ingredients