April 24, 2002

C.U. Students' 'Frescada' Wins Grand Prize

Print More

A nutritious and delicious yogurt-based beverage won a group of six ambitious food science students here at Cornell the grand prize of $5,000 for “Best Overall Product Award” in the Fourth Annual Discoveries in Dairy Ingredients Contest. Cornell food science students have won this prize for the past four years.

Named Frescada, this nutrient-enhanced yogurt drink is a beverage that comes in two flavors: lemon-lime or strawberry-carrot.

“It differs from the yogurt drinks in the market today because it is a lighter, refreshing hybrid of a new age beverage like SoBe and a typical yogurt drink in the market,” said Jimmy Chen, grad, the Cornell team captain. “It is made with fruit juices and other functional ingredients, which make it marketable to a wider consumer base.”

Frescada targets women especially because it is fortified with protein, calcium, antioxidants from soy and active probiotic cultures.

Team members, included graduate students Chen, Sameer Marfatia, Rohit Jalali, Kristen Schmitz, Satya Kalambur and Liang Hongquan.

“It took a lot of time and hard work but we had great fun developing Frescada,” Chen said. “What we liked most about the experience is that the competition forced us to think through the entire new product development process, from formulation to market appeal. Yogurt related items have a lot of market potential for developing new products that are good for you and with dairy ingredients, the possibilities are endless for achieving function, taste and nutrition.”

The Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) sponsors the contest through the Do it with dairy program.

The contest provides both undergraduate and graduate college students with the opportunity to promote and develop original dairy products and is funded by the U.S. dairy farmers. It shows the versatility and functionality of dairy ingredients and seeks to provide future food scientists with realistic experience.

Kathy Cummings, a public relations manager from DMI said, “the winning students are getting a lot of attention and exposure to the industry and food representatives. The idea is to provide great experience and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities for networking. It is the kind of event that adds unique credentials to one’s resume as well.”

Ten different teams submitted entries from top universities across the country.

“Its really quite an impressive endeavor,” Cummings said. “Teams of anywhere from three to nine students spend up to six months working on a project.”

Other awards this year included the “Product Creativity Award” and the “Product Marketability Award”. The Penn State team was awarded “Most Creative” for their innovative Yogurt Crisp. It consists of a blend of natural strawberry, nonfat dry milk (NDM) and a low fat yogurt base lightly coated with whey batter. Washington State and North Carolina State Universities tied for the “Most Marketable” award. Each of these teams received a $3,000 cash prize, according to the DMI press release.

Washington State presented YoV