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AACC International Students Win With
Healthy and Innovative Foods

St. Paul, Minn. (December 17, 2008) – The eighth annual AACC International Student Product Development competition introduced innovative, healthy products, with top-winning creations “Tropical Pretzels,” “Peazies,” and “Cabernet Bread.” The competition was held during the 2008 AACC International Annual Meeting, September 21-24 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Thirteen teams applied to the competition to develop a new, original food product consisting of one cereal product as the main ingredient. Each team prepared a report discussing product description, target market, and processing/packaging procedures. Out of the 13 original teams, five were selected to present their products to the judges at the AACC International annual meeting. Each finalist team created a poster describing formulation, shelf life, marketing aspects, processing, packaging, and other relevant information regarding their products. Teams delivered a 10-minute oral presentation for the judges and provided servings of the product at a tasting session.

Team “Tropical Pretzels” from Kansas State University took the first place prize of $3,000. Team members Katie Krusemark and Katie Marston created a soft multigrain pretzel filled with dried pineapple, mango and walnut with just the “perfect mix of salty and sweet.” This innovative snack can be toasted or microwaved, and provides nutrition by incorporating fruits, walnuts, and whole grains.

Said Krusemark of their prize-winning creation, “In developing Tropical Pretzels, we wanted to combine the unique health benefits of whole grains, fruit, and nuts containing omega-3 fatty acids. A [stuffed] soft, multigrain pretzel was chosen as the product provides convenience, sensory fulfillment, and several health claims.” Marston added that the “competition allowed us to use our skills and knowledge learned at Kansas State and apply these aptitudes to a real-world situation.”

“Peazies” from the University of Manitoba took the second place prize of $2,000. Designed by team members Heather Maskus, Marcie McFadden, and Carol Rosa, Peazies puffed pea snacks are made with organic, whole yellow pea flour, and are a very high source of fiber (32% daily value for a 50 g serving), a good source of protein, and are low in fat. Peazies are available in four distinct flavors: Fireplace Bruschetta, Backyard Herb, Cheesy Nacho, and Family Day Barbeque.

The third place of $1,000 went to team “Cabernet Bread” from Kansas State University. Team members Yanjie Bai, Ananda Nanjunda, Summer Steeples, and Junhun Yoo designed a product that incorporates antioxidants in wine with the fiber in bread to create a healthful snack. The antioxidant and fiber sources include grape skin powder and wheat aleurone.

Teams “Cardio Dolce” from University of Georgia, and “NovelTea Biscuits” from Cornell University also competed in the competition. Each finalist team received a $300 travel award.

This event was made possible by sponsorships from ADM Ogilvie, Caravan Ingredients, Cargill, Inc, ConAgra, Frito-Lay, General Mills, Hershey, Kellogg Co, McCormick & Company Inc, MGP Ingredients, Starquest F.O.O.D. Consulting LLC, and TIC Gums. The competition was judged by Nelson Almeida, W. K. Kellogg Institute, Tim Christensen, Cargill Bake Lab, Thomas Luallen, Starquest F.O.O.D. Consulting LLC, John M. Mathew, Frito-Lay Research & Development, Deirdre E. Ortiz, W. K. Kellogg Institute, and Deb Patterson, General Mills. Maureen Evans, Rutgers University, Bhimalingeswarappa Geera, University of Nebraska, and Ramakanth Jonnala, Kansas State University, chaired the event.

AACC International is an organization of professionals who contribute to the research, development, and processing of grains and grain-based products.