Under the direction of Dr. Adrian Kerrihard, graduate students Alexa Gruschow, Angela Morresi, Kaitlin Overgaard, Dana Schules, and Michael Senteck created “Dr. Quacker’s Sunny Crisps and Fruity Dips,” a healthy snack made with sunflower flour. The Institute of Food Technologists Smart Snacks for Kids Product Development competition selected their tasty innovation as one of six finalists. Dr. Kerrihard is an Assistant Professor in the Nutrition and Food Studies department, and all five students are part of the Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Science program.
As this graduate program is fairly new, this is an incredible achievement and the competition included the most prominent Food Science Programs from the Land Grant Universities with long-established programs.
This type of group collaboration is an offshoot of prior coursework. Previously, Dr. Kerrihard worked with his students, including some of the same students that are involved in this project, and developed food products with Garden Lites, a national food brand specializing in vegetable-based food that is both healthy and delicious. The experience with Garden Lites helped prep the students in collective group work and product development. Dr. Douglas Murray, chair of Nutrition and Food Studies, noted: “Our students have been enthusiastic throughout the process and have invested considerable time into creating this product…I am so proud of Dr. Kerrihard and the students delivering this outstanding result. The investment paid off!”
The students will present their final proposal of the product at the upcoming Institute of Food Technologists 2019 Annual Meeting (#IFT19) from June 2-5 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The group previously presented at the New York Institute of Food Technologists (NYIFT), the regional chapter of the organization at Rutgers University in February 2019.