UW teams are magic in food product contests

Pixie Dust was magic for a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison food science graduate students in New Orleans last weekend. That’s the name of the drink mix that earned them first place in a Disney-sponsored food product development contest at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual meeting in New Orleans.

The contest invited entries of products that were healthy for kids and Disney themed. Pixie Dust is made from freeze-dried fruit and can be mixed with either milk or water. It supplies the equivalent of a full serving of fruit

It was a good year overall for UW-Madison students at the IFT conference. Another UW-Madison team earned third place in another IFT food product competition with a shelf-stable yogurt truffle called Blissful Bites. A third team won an honorable mention in the Disney competition with a product called Tangerine Dreams, a carbonated beverage the provides a full serving of low-fat dairy.

Just getting to compete in New Orleans was a big accomplishment. The judging at the IFT meeting was the final round for both contests. Each contest originally fielded about two dozen entries but advanced only six teams to the finals, based on proposals the teams submitted last spring for products they’d been working on since early last fall.

“As a side note, our food science club won second place in the Chapter of the Year competition, so it’s a very good year for the Department of Food Science,” said says Jackie Koch, captain of the Pixie Dust team and product development chairperson for the Food Science Club.