Newswise — CHICAGO – The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and CanolaInfo recently announced the winner of the IFT Student Association Heart-Healthy Product Development Competition at the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) Wellness 14 held in Chicago, Ill. The winning student team from the food science program at Rutgers University developed Heartmony, a snack harmonizing the crunchiness of crackers with the creaminess of a dip.
“The annual Heart-Healthy Product Development Competition gives students real-world product development experience and the students from Rutgers worked hard from start to finish,” said IFT President-Elect Mary Ellen Camire. “All of the teams came up with very innovative ideas, and the competition has been a great learning experience that will prepare these students for the demands of the job market in the future.”
The goal of this competition was to showcase how the food industry can meet the demand of consumers who want healthier food choices. Students were asked to create heart-healthy snack food products that are low in saturated fat and free of trans fat using canola oil.
“Canola oil has the least saturated fat of all common cooking oils – half that of olive oil – plus a neutral taste and light texture that makes it an excellent fit for heart-healthy products,” says Shaunda Durance-Tod, M.Sc., R.D., CanolaInfo program manager at the Canola Council of Canada and one of three judges for the competition. “This competition’s success underscores the fact that consumers are looking for good tasting, heart-healthy snack foods products made with healthier oils such as canola oil.”
In addition to containing canola oil, the crackers in the Heartmony product are made from a blend of rye, oat, chia, and flaxseeds; and the edamame-spinach based dip boasts freshness from kombu seaweed.
Team Captain Lumeng Jin, and other members of the team Vi Dao, Siyu Wang, Yi-Chun Lai, Chen Liu, and Weiyue Wang received a check for $3,500 and complimentary registration to the 2014 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo in New Orleans for all team members and a trophy.
The second place team from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo received a check for $2,500 and a trophy for their product, Demergo. Third place went to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst for SmarTarts. They received a check for $1,500 and a trophy.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Food Technologists. Since its founding in 1939, IFT has been committed to advancing the science of food, both today and tomorrow. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 18,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.
CanolaInfo is the information source about canola oil for consumers, health professionals, chefs, media, educators–everyone who wants to know more about one of the world's healthiest oils. The CanolaInfo team is supported by Canada's canola growers, crop input suppliers, exporters, processors, food manufacturers and governments. For more information, go to canolainfo.org.