Student competitions are a great way to build experience and explore new ideas. The American Association of Cereal Chemists International Student Product Development Competition can turn up some very interesting ideas. Take the 2010 winner, for example. The top product was a grain-based tea - a beverage - and took top honors in the competition that included 13 teams.
Teams were challenged to develop a new, original food product consisting of one cereal product as the main ingredient. Each team prepared a report discussing the product description, target market and processing/packaging procedures - creating a real-world situation for the teams.
Five teams made the cut to present their products to judges at the AACC International Annual Meeting. Each finalist created a poster describing formulation, shelf life, marketing aspects, processing, packaging and other relevant information regarding services of the product at a tasting session.
Team "Granote - Sorghum Tisane" from Kansas State University took first place and a prize of $2,550. They developed a fat-free grain tea made with cracked red sorghum rosted and combined with a dried pineapple and orange fruit mix.
"The BETA Fruit Bar" came in second, with a cash prize of $1,000. The University of Manitoba team, created a dual-layer prebiotic fruit bar that included prebioted beta-glucan and apple pomace for moisture, flavor and nutritive value.
Third place wen to "a bloc" from the University of Arkansas, netting them $850. The created an organic, whole-grain, gluten-free energy bar marketed toward endurance athletes and outdoor enthusiasts.
The last two finalists in the competition included "Prozea Chewing Gum" from Iowa State University and "Tamarangles" from Cornell University. All teams received a $300 travel award.
This event was made possible by the generous sponsorship of AB Mauri Fleischmann, Caravan Ingredients, Cargill, Inc., CHOPIN Technologies, ConAgra, David Michael & Co., General Mills, Kellogg Co., Polypro Intl. Inc., Starquest F.O.O.D. Consulting LLC, and TIC Gums. Student member Yanjie Bai, Kansas State University, chaired the event.
AACC Intl. is an organization of professionals who contribute to the research, development, and processing of grains and grain-based products.
Farmers should find this interesting because any new products with a grain base just keep building demand in the consumer food market.