WSU SFS Product Development Club Named Finalist in Baking Competition

The Product Development Club received huge news when the American Society of Baking (ASB) informed them that their brownie was named a finalist for their Product Development Competition. The Washington State University (WSU) Product Development Club will travel to Chicago to represent the school as a finalist. With only three teams being named as finalists, the club will attempt to secure first place for the first time.

A logo for the brownie designed by Bryan Michael Pepito.
A logo for the brownie designed by Bryan Michael Pepito.

“I think we’re all extremely excited to represent WSU at ASB,” Club member Bryan Michael Pepito said.  “I think it shows that creativity is fostered at this University and the support from faculty and lab members has definitely played a role in keeping us motivated.”

The product submitted by the team is a brownie that has an interesting and surprising feature: The sweetness comes from a yam with origins in the Philippines called ube. The delicious, popular yam is known for being particularly sweet. The sweetness has a tasty vanilla-like flavor that resembles similar tastes commonly found within a brownie. The usage of this purple yam is also what gives the dessert it’s unique purple color.

The Product Development Club will weigh their brownie against baked goods created by students from Purdue University and the University of Florida.

A photo of the ube brownie.

“I think to win first place would really just validate joining the WSU Food Science program,” Pepito said. “I am really excited to get to add this experience to my resume.”

Pepito and his teammates will be in Chicago for the finalist judging from February 28 until March 3. The final judging hosted by the ABS will focus on their category of “Indulgence”, which they have defined as rich tasting – high in sweet or fatty flavors or textures.