Food Science Students Create, Present Products at Showcase

Published Date: Dec 8, 2021 11:15:00 AM

A high-protein breakfast snack for kids that looks like a mini-quiche. A vegan brownie for health-conscious consumers. Whole-grain cookie sticks that are a good source of iron and have no added sugar.

These were just some of the projects that students in FST 4290L, the Food Product Development Lab, created this fall.

The course is a PolyX experience and serves as the capstone for food science and technology students.

This includes making the product; performing sensory testing; research into how the product would be made on an industrial scale, including an analysis of potential hazards; how they would market and package the product; and possible line extensions, such as offering the product in different flavors.

This year, Associate Professor Gabriel Davidov-Pardo of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science received a donation from American Food Ingredients (AFI) to run the laboratory. As part of the agreement with the company, students were challenged with incorporating in an innovative way at least one of their ingredients.

The students displayed the products they created at a Dec. 2 showcase in the Building 7 courtyard, which AFI President Karen Koppenhaver attended. The event included samples for attendees and passersby.  

The team of Kyle Young, Thianda Smith, Evan Chan, and Doris Lopez-Esquivel created Egg Balance:  a snack that looks like a bite-sized quiche and contains eggs, mushrooms, bell pepper, and spinach.

“The purpose of the product is to provide a quick and easy snack to children and teenagers with a busy lifestyle that is not only healthy and nutritious, but also promotes satiety,” the students said. “Healthy snacks such as Egg Balance can help manage children’s hunger, boost nutrition, and help parents who want to find a better alternative to other snack items that are unhealthy.”

Nature’s Treats is a vegan brownie created by Fallon Moore, Roosevelt Sosa, and Flora Yu for health-conscious people. It used flaxseed, which is high in fiber, and apple sauce instead of butter to moisten the brownie. Nature’s Treats is also low in saturated fat and made without artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or hydrogenated fats.

Chocstiks are chocolate-covered whole-grain cookie sticks. Cory Lee, Manny Obando, Elijah Wong, and Linh Hali Nguyen made the Chocstiks without any added sugar. They used vegetable powders – from spinach, orange juice, and beets – to color the sticks. They also used cauliflower powder in their recipe to add nutritional value.

In addition to being high in fiber, Chocstiks are low fat and have a good source of iron.

Upswirlz look like mini cinnamon rolls, but they’re filled with guava jam.

Angela Go, Julia Duddles, and Marisela Robles made the rolls with okara flour; okara is a byproduct from soymilk production.

Initially, the team used nopales jam to sweeten the rolls, but sensory testing found that the rolls weren’t sweet enough. So, they added guava to make it sweeter, and that seemed to work better, Go said.

Upswirlz is an excellent source of dietary fiber – thanks to the okara and using nopales powder – and vitamin C.

They may look like tater tots, but Pog Bites are a fried mozzarella and dairy-based snack bite that comes with a dipping sauce.

Brenda Kwong, Steven Foo, and Clarissa Artadi made Pog Bites to be more than 50 percent dairy products and be high in protein and targeted for video gamers.

The students used whey protein isolate in the sauce; tomato and carrot powders to sweeten the sauce; and dehydrated carrots and potatoes to provide crunchy coating to the Pog Bites.  

Rooted Berry Kotta is a vegan, gel-based, double-layered cold dessert that is made with a non-dairy cream bottom layer and a blueberry gel top layer.

Dion Chang, Jane Zhang, Jacquelline Chach and Christianne Yapor used oat milk and cauliflower for the non-dairy cream in the Kotta, which is also gluten free, allergen free, high in fiber, and has no cholesterol or saturated fats. In addition, all the packaging is either recyclable or biodegradable; it does not contain any plastics.