Food Science Student Team Wins Heart-Healthy Product Development Competition with Hummus made from Chickpeas, Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash

March 30, 2012

CHICAGO – The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and CanolaInfo announced the winner of the Heart-Healthy Product Development Competition at the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Wellness 12 held in Rosemont, Ill. The winning student team from the food science program at Cornell University developed Hummus+, a nutritionally enhanced hummus product made from chickpeas, sweet potato and butternut squash.

"The competition is a great way to challenge students to think outside of the box when it comes to creating new foods," said IFT President-Elect John Ruff. "All the teams did a phenomenal job and I think all of their products could succeed in the marketplace."

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 new, heart-healthy food products that are low in saturated fat and free of trans fat. Products could be for any of meal of the day or a healthy snack and had to include canola oil, which is low in saturated fat.

Hummus, a Mediterranean staple, has increased in popularity in the United States over the past decade as a healthy, protein-filled snack that pairs well with both veggies and crackers.  Hummus+ boasts higher potassium, fiber, and vitamin A content, and lower sodium and saturated fat than what is currently found on store shelves.

"We ate a lot of hummus over the past year while coming up with this product, and we would love to be able to bring it to the market someday!" said team captain Chong-Hyun Kim. Kim along with the other members of the team, Nicholas Apollo and Alexander Lo received a check for $3,500 and complimentary registration to the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Las Vegas for all team members and a trophy.

The second place team from The Ohio State University received a check for $2,500 for their product, Morning Glory—a spiced sweet potato waffle with subtle sweetness from applesauce that's packed with antioxidants and other healthful nutrients. Third place went to the University California, Davis team for Torteoat, a heart-healthy, hand-held pie with an oat crust filled with yogurt custard and a fruit topping. They received a check for $1,000.

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About IFT
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society. Our individual members are professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT's mission is to advance the science of food, and our long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply, contributing to healthier people everywhere.

For more than 70 years, the IFT has been unlocking the potential of the food science community by creating a dynamic global forum where members from more than 100 countries can share, learn, and grow. We champion the use of sound science across the food value chain through the exchange of knowledge, by providing education, and by furthering the advancement of the profession. IFT has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit ift.org .

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