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Food Product Development

Food Science students dressed for lab work.Students learn first-hand how to develop novel food products, from concept to consumer, and gain valuable leadership, communication and teamwork skills in the process.
Their creations are entered into many different national contests, including the Idaho Milk Processors Association, California Almond Board Almond Innovations, Danisco Knowledge Award, and Institute of Food Technologists Student Association Product Development Competitions.

To find out how you can join this team, contact team advisor Dr. Girish Ganjyal.

We are proud to share the accomplishments of the School of Food Science Food Product Development Teams!

Teams have earned much national recognition since its founding in 1998, with over a dozen award-winning products.
Scroll down to see the kinds of things the Product Development Team gets to do!


The Product Development Team won 2nd place at the American Association of Cereal Chemist International with their product Tahili Baklava.


The team developed a product for their competition called Quinoatas. A mix of quina and oats.The Product Development Team won 1st place at the American Association of Cereal Chemist International with their product Quinoatas.



Students created the Brazilian Delight product for a competitionThe Product Development Team took 1st place at the American Association of Cereal Chemist International Competition for their product Brazilian Delight


Product Developtment Team Poster for their product AmbrosiaThe Product Development Team took second place at the National Dairy Council New Product Competition with their product Ambrosia.




August 2012

IMPA team presenting their research. The Washington State University Team of Molly Mayer, Ellen Bornhorst and Allison Baker took third place in the Idaho Milk Processors Association product development contest on August 9, 2012 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Team advisor is Mike Costello.

The team’s product was called Juustioli. Juustioli is a ravioli-like product that substitutes Juustoleipa cheese for the traditional wheat based pasta. The filling was compose mostly of Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses and was seasoned with dried tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar. The judges described it as the best tasting product that had ever been set before them in this contest. The team won $3000, which is to be split equally between the team members and the School of Food Science for use in dairy research. Congratulations to the students and staff who worked so hard on this project!

June 2012

Student Team Wins First Place!

Student competitors were tasked with creating a mango-based product that addresses nutrient deficiencies common in Kenya. Mangoes grow abundantly in Kenya, but the harvesting season is short so the competition guidelines emphasize that product concepts must be something that can be produced rapidly. The irregular size, shape, and color of mangoes can also present a challenge to growers >> more here.

Product Development Team Using Mangos in Food for “Developing Solutions for Developing Countries” Competition at IFT 2012

One of our student Product Development Competition teams received the highest preliminary score and will be competing at the national competition at the IFT Annual Meeting. You can learn more about their Developing Solutions for Developing Countries competition on the IFT web site.

Team members: (L to R) Front Row: Jenny Lim, Lauren Schopp, Amir Golmohamadi, Rossana Villa-Rojas
Back Row: Alex Fredrickson, Anne Secor, Jesse Zuehlke, Ford Childs

August 2011

Food Science student presenting "Chatty Cheese Pie" research.The WSU/UI team placed fourth at the Idaho Milk Processors Association product development competition in Sun Valley last week. The team’s product was “Chatty Cheese Pie,” a product that had a dairy based crust and was formulated to serve the celiac disease market, the diabetic market, the food service appetizer market and met the requirements for the school lunch program. The team members are Colin Cassard, Brianna Gualtieri and Kimberly Russell.

The team won $2000 dollars, of which $1000 goes directly to the team members and the other $1000 is donated to support dairy research.

April 2011
Product development team members Matt Allan (captain), Sarah Byington, Caroline Campbell, Mikaela Easter, and Kate Sweitzer, developed a carrot based gluten free cracker sandwich with sunflower seed spread product which was selected as one of the five finalists out of twenty entries in the Disney IFTSA Product Development Competition.   After a tasting session, final paper and oral presentation, the team was awarded an honorable mention in the final competition in June.  The crackers, called “Mater’s Craters”, are small moon shaped cracker sandwiches made from carrot pomace, concentrated carrot juice, whole grains and sunflower seed spread. Disney has expressed further interest in the concept. Jeff Bohlscheid and Frank Younce were the team advisors.

September 2009

First place goes to a team of five students from
the School of Food Science.

Kellie Grant led the team – which included Dan Ramseyer, Kimberly Court, Lauren Davis and Elizabeth O’Daffer – in submitting Pro-Yo Delectables, a fruit-filled chocolate- and granola-covered frozen yogurt novelty. One serving provides a good source of fiber and probiotics. This product is targeted toward adults (especially women) because of their desire for indulgent frozen novelties with portion control. Each serving contains 3 grams of fiber and only 140 calories. It is ready to eat and contains probiotics to support immunity and digestion. GRINDSTED® Pectin® YF 347 was used in the fruit center to form a jam-like texture. Litesse® Two was used in the frozen yogurt and in the fruit center as a prebiotic and a low calorie bulking agent. GRINDSTED® IcePro 2516 provided creaminess and reduced ice crystals in the frozen yogurt. HOWARU® Dophilus and Bifido are the probiotics in the frozen yogurt.

Danisco Knowledge Award – First Place $10,000

Use your knowledge. Be innovative. Come up with a unique and creative food or beverage concept and take home our first prize of $10,000. The Danisco Knowledge Award is an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge you have acquired during your studies to a real-world situation. Not to mention the chance to show Danisco and the rest of the food industry how good you really are.

August 2009
Congratulations to School of Food Science student CJ Hoye and Biosystems Engineering students, Caparino Ofero, Fermin Resurreccion and Summet Dhawan, who participated in the Food Product Development Competition at the Idaho Milk Processors Association conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. The School of Food Science team took second place in the competition with the Pro*Pal yogurt leather snack food. The event is a great opportunity to compete with teams from other schools, but its other objective is to improve linkage between IMPA members and university faculty and students. The FPDC also affords IMPA members the opportunity to spot talented students for potential employment, not to mention the fact that some scholarships also come our way to support deserving students.

June 16, 2009

CAHNRS and WSU Extension, Marketing and News Services

Student Product Development Teams Taste Success

Two student food product development teams from the Washington State University and University of Idaho School of Food Science won awards at the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association competition in Anaheim last week. Competing against product development teams from the U.S., the two teams won third place awards.

In the first ever “Developing Solutions for Developing Countries” category, Ph.D. student Babu Chinnasamy and his teammates won with Tu Mazi, a single-serve mango-flavored probiotic milk powder. Tu Mazi, Chinnasamy said, is designed to utilize the highly seasonal milk supply in Kenya in a way that ensures a nutritious and economy-stabilizing source of food in times of drought. By using an innovative dehydrating technology, milk and mangoes, abundant during Kenya’s rainy season, are powdered in a way that preserves probiotic bacteria so that the powder can be reconstituted with filtered water when supplies of milk and fruit run low.

Probiotics, some research suggests, have human health benefitting properties.

The Erupt-a-Cake product development team.In an innovative effort to grow
young people’s enthusiasm about science, Yukiko Sakai’s team won with Erupt-a-Cake. This all-natural, ready-to-bake chocolate cake sports an erupting volcano and gummy dinosaurs.

“The target audience for Erupt-a-Cake is ‘tweens’ aged 8 – 12 years old,” said Sakai. “The kids make the cake and learn some science by combining an acid and a base to create the reaction that makes the volcano erupt.” All the ingredients are safe for children to work with and eat.

“We’ve really put WSU and the UI on the map in terms of product development,” said associate professor of food science Stephanie Clark. “At IFT, we’re competing not just nationally, but internationally. Our students have been very successful in the past 11 years, having gone to the IFT final six times in 10 years. That’s impressive!”

As part of the finals, the teams wrote 20-page final reports, summarizing all nutritional, marketing, sensory, shelf life, safety and processing elements of the product. During the competition in Anaheim, team members participated in oral presentations and poster sessions and answered questions posed by judges and Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting attendees from around the world. Judges also completed a sensory evaluation of the products developed by the students. Professional food scientists involved in product development at a variety of companies serve as judges.

WSU and UI students have won numerous awards in the past ten years for food product development and, since 2002, have competed in the IFT Student Association Product Development finals five times.

June 9 2009

New Contest Produces Domestic and International Winners

The winners have been announced in this year’s new IFT Student Association competition, “Developing Solutions for Developing Countries.” The competition drew 32 finalists from around the world that were narrowed down to six finalists, half from academic institutions based in the U.S. and Canada, and the other half from academic institutions from outside North America. A winner, second, and third place were selected for both the domestic and international finalists.

North America

1st place: University of Minnesota with Pushtikor, a dried mix made from ground lentils and dried potatoes that could be used to sustainably address the problem of malnutrition among pregnant women in Bangladesh.

2nd place: Cornell University with Solana Plus, a shelf-stable, fortified potato-flake product that could be produced through the formation of farming cooperatives.

3rd place: Washington State University with Tu Mazi, a nutritious, all-natural beverage powder that blends fruit and milk designed to serve the needs of people in Africa.


1st place: Students from Wageningen, Netherlands with SOR-MITE, a cereal product enriched with termite protein that is designed to aid in the alleviation of chronic hunger in Africa.

2nd place: University of Pretoria, South Africa with PUCOMA, a ready-to-eat, blended weaning food in retortable pouches targeted to sub-Saharan African populations and designed to help reduce the consequences of malnutrition.

3rd place: Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia with instant noodles made from corn, high protein content, and iron-rich formulation, formulated to combat nutritional deficiencies among pregnant women in Southeast Asia.

This new competition is sponsored by General Mills.

Erupt-A-Cake, an all-natural, ready-to-bake chocolate cake and fun-with-science erupting volcano, edible frosting and gummy dinasours, were entered into the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) Product Development Competition (PDC) by a team of WSU and UI students.  Erupt-A-Cake is one of 6 finalists in IFTSA PDC, presented at the IFT Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA in June.

Tu Mazi, a mango flavored probiotic milk powder, is entered into the first Developing Solutions for Developing Countries (DSDC) IFTSA Product Development Competition by a team of WSU students.  Tu Mazi is one of 6 finalists in the contest! Bio-Gurt, a pro biotic yogurt fruit leather, is entered into the first Disney Nutritious Food For Kids IFTSA Product Development Competition by a team of WSU graduate students.  Bio-Gurt is one of 6 finalists in contest! Pie 2 Go,100-calorie high fiber shelf-stable apple pie tarts, will be entered into the Danisco Knowledge Award Product Development Competition by a team of WSU students.  A UI team will also enter a (yet un-named) product into the contest.