Food product development team advances to finals in two contests

The Food Science Club’s Product Development Team recently learned that the dessert they developed for the annual Institute of Food Technologists product development competition was among the top six entries. This means the team will compete for first place at the IFT conference this coming July.

Ten students worked together to make the dessert item, Kudamushi Fruit Sushi. The bite-sized treat is designed to look like a maki roll (a popular type of sushi). At the center of the roll, where the raw fish usually goes, lies a piece of pectin candy that tastes of ginger and peaches. The gummy candy is surrounded by real sushi rice infused with jasmine tea. All of this is wrapped in dark purple fruit leather, as a maki roll is wrapped in seaweed. The fruit sushi comes frozen and is simply thawed before eating. It is fat- and cholesterol-free.

Before the final competition in July, the group must finalize the product and expand their business plan, HACCP plan, nutrition information and manufacturing process description. At the competition, the team will present a poster and paper and give an oral presentation and a product “defense” to a panel of food development professionals. They will also provide samples of Kudamushi Fruit Sushi for the competition’s requisite taste test.

Another group within the UW-Madison food product team was among the top six teams advancing to the finals in the Almond Innovations competition. For this contest, they created a chai tea beverage called Almond Sereni-Tea made of almond milk and aromatic spices, including cinnamon and nutmeg. Additionally, the team isolated almond protein and used it to fortify the tea. They recently sent in their product for a final taste test that will determine the ultimate winner of the competition.