When you think of national team championships and Penn State defeating teams from Iowa State and Ohio State universities, you think football, volleyball or wrestling, right? This time, seven students on the Food Science Product Development Team took top national honors for creating Mooofins.
At the recent American Dairy Science Association meeting, Mooofins were named the best of the best in the Dairy Research Institute's new product competition, and claimed the $8,000 top prize.
The challenge was to create a high-protein, dairy-based product for the morning meal containing at least 51% dairy ingredients. The Penn State team created quiche-like muffins with cottage cheese curds dispersed throughout the Mooofin base, and are paired with signature flavors, such as blueberry sausage, maple bacon and bell pepper mushroom.
Team members, all food science majors with good taste, were Megan Woo, a senior from San Francisco, Calif.; Jared Smith, a senior from Lebanon, Pa.; Kelsey Rogers, a senior from Howard, Pa.; Anthony Herdzik, a senior from Rochester, N.Y.; Kenny Vogel, a junior from Topsfield, Mass.; Shaina Melnick, a junior from Mount Joy, Pa.; and Andrew Elder, a junior from Bellefonte, Pa.
"When we found out that we won first place, we were ecstatic," said Woo. "Overall, this competition was a very challenging yet rewarding learning experience. It stretched the team in many ways and we all learned a lot about product development and teamwork in the process."
Team Adviser Daniel Azzara, said he and the students plan to take their victory a step further and see what it takes to commercialize the product. "We'll use the success of Mooofins to explore proprietary issues, seek out possible business partners, expand consumer testing and set up a business plan leading potentially to launching the product."
The Mooofins were shown at the U.S. Dairy Export Council's booth at July's International Food Technologists meeting in Chicago. And the Penn State team is already thinking about next year's competition focused on dairy products for aging baby boomers, added Azzara.
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