3/29/17 | JWU’s student culinology team won first prize at the Research Chefs Association’s new Evolution of Food Waste Student competition, held at the RCA’s annual conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
JWU Providence students Samuel Burgess, Victor Eng, Jessica Pulling, Natasha Daniels, Ray Holloway and Samantha Gannon wowed the judges with their savvy use of Brewer’s spent grain (BSG), which typically ends up in landfills, as a milled flour for their Hazlenut Doppio scone.
This was the first year for the Evolution of Food Waste competition, which the RCA designed to:
- Provide a creative opportunity for students to network with food industry professionals
- Challenge future R&D chefs, food scientists, product developers and culinary leaders to apply Culinology® concepts towards formulating a sustainable food product using team-selected ingredients typically considered food waste
- Showcase RCA students who effectively reduce food costs with novel solutions
- Offer an open innovation platform that connects fresh industry perspectives with companies progressively researching what we will be eating in the future
- Support the start-up entrepreneurial goals of RCA student teams who aspire to enter into future competitions, and perhaps someday seek to see their fully developed food waste product enter the marketplace.
The JWU team worked throughout the fall and winter to develop their product for the competition, with faculty support from professors Lynn Tripp, MS, CFS (team advisor) and Russ Zito.
It was during work with the JBrew club under Assistant Professor Jennifer Pereira that they hit upon the idea of using Brewer’s spent grain (BSG), a byproduct of the brewing process that is often discarded as food waste. (The UK alone produces 1 billion pounds of BSG every year.)
The JWU team dove into their research, including
- the global problem of disposing of spent grain
- the benefits utilizing spent grain in a food product would have on the brewing industry
- the nutritional benefits of adding spent grain back into foods
They then went to work developing a concept and then a product using the spent grain flour. After much trial and error, they came up with a flour made entirely of dried spent grain that they then incorporated it into the Hazlenut Doppio scone, a whole grain, high-protein breakfast enlivened with the flavors of toasted hazlenuts, coffee and vanilla.
The students wrote an 18-page proposal outlining their product in detail, including manufacturing the scone from frozen spent grain into the final product. They summarized the entire process in a PowerPoint presentation, then worked with College of Arts & Sciences Professor Lisa Sisco, who teaches technical writing, to render the info into a user-friendly research poster.
In San Juan, the students competed against California Polytechnic State University and defended their project in front of 3 RCA judges. The students represented the College of Culinary Arts’ new Culinary Science program — which combines the strength of our world-renowned culinary arts programs with the science of food and food production — in outstanding fashion.
SCENES FROM THE EVOLUTION OF FOOD WASTE COMPETITION, TOP TO BOTTOM: THE JWU TEAM MAKES THEIR PRESENTATION. PHOTO: RESEARCH CHEFS ASSOCIATION // GOING WITH THE GRAIN: HAZLENUT DOPPIO SCONE POSTER. // THE JWU TEAM’S SAVVY USE OF WHAT IS GENERALLY CONSIDERED A WASTE PRODUCT WON OVER THE JUDGES.