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College students in Oklahoma can share their creative and innovative ideas for new food and beverage products for a chance to compete and win $10,000 in a product innovation competition.

A $10,000 idea: FAPC set to host product development contest for college students

Friday, November 19, 2021

Media Contact: Kirsten Hollansworth | Communications Graduate Student | 405-744-0442 | kirsten.hollansworth@okstate.edu

The Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food and Agriculture Products Center is challenging college students across Oklahoma to compete in the David Howard Food Product Innovation Competition.

College students with innovative ideas for new food and beverage products are invited to FAPC to provide demonstrations, presentations and sampling of their food innovations.

“By participating in the competition, students will gain an understanding and appreciation of the various stages of product development,” said Dani Bellmer, FAPC food process engineer.

Students can take on the role of a food scientist and develop a new product, Bellmer said.

The competition is set to take place March 29, 2022, from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. at FAPC and will foster creative research, idea development, product and process development, and commercialization potential and evaluation.

To have a chance at winning the first place grand prize of $10,000, competitors or competing teams must be currently enrolled as full-time graduate or undergraduate students.

Chuck Willoughby, FAPC business and marketing manager, said innovations in the food industry have come a long way in the last 100 years from the introduction of Quaker Quick Oats in 1922, one of the first convenience products, to oat milk invented in 1969 by Oatly’s founders, brothers Rickard and Bjorn Oeste. In Sweden, the brothers were researching an alternative to cow’s milk for people with lactose intolerance, he added.

“We want college students to share their creative ideas for the next greatest food and beverage inventions,” Willoughby said.

Initial entries must be submitted by Feb. 1, 2022. Competitor selections will be made by Feb. 15, and selected applicants must submit a $50 deposit to reserve a spot in the contest. The entry fee will be refunded after students complete the event, and competitors will be reimbursed up to $250 for ingredients and supplies.

FAPC, a part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps to discover, develop and deliver technical and business information that will stimulate and support the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

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