Novel uses for grains, such as a grain-based tea beverages and a dual-layer, prebiotic fruit were presented at the 2010 Product Development Competition for students, held during the 2010 AACC International (American Association of Cereal Chemists) meeting in October.

Grain-based tea? It’s possible, and was the top winner of the 2010 AACC International (American Association of Cereal Chemists) 10th annual Product Development Competition, Student Competition, Oct. 24-27 in Savanna, Ga. Other innovative products included fruit and energy bars and a corn-based, probiotic-filled gum.

The innovative products were chosen from 13 teams that competed to develop a new, original food product consisting of one cereal product as the main ingredient. Each team described their product, target market and processing/packaging procedures. Five teams were selected to present their products to the judges at the St. Paul, Minn.-based association’s annual meeting. Team finalists created a poster describing formulation, shelf life, marketing aspects, processing, packaging and other relevant information regarding their products. The teams also provided servings of the product during a tasting session.

Team “Granoté -Sorghum Tisane” from Kansas State University took first place, a prize of $2,550. Team members Angela Dodd and Daniela Nath de Oliveira developed a fat-free grain tea made with cracked red sorghum that was roasted and combined with a dried pineapple and orange fruit mix.

“The BETA Fruit Bar” took second place with a prize of $1,000. The University of Manitoba team, with Tara Ayotte and Joel Lamoureux, created a dual-layer prebiotic fruit bar containing the prebiotic β-glucan and apple pomace for moisture, flavor and nutritive value.

Third place went to "á bloc" from the University of Arkansas team, consisting of members Chelsea Castrodale, Kate Cook and Curtis Luckett. The $850 prize went to their organic, whole-grain, gluten-free energy bar targeting endurance athletes and outdoor enthusiasts.

This event was made possible by the sponsorship of AB Mauri Fleischmann, Caravan Ingredients, Cargill, Inc., CHOPIN Technologies, ConAgra, David Michael & Co., General Mills, Kellogg Co., Polypro Intl. Inc., Starquest F.O.O.D. Consulting LLC, and TIC Gums. Student member Yanjie Bai, Kansas State University, chaired the event.

AACC International is an organization of professionals who contribute to the research, development and processing of grains and grain-based products.