SymBoba, a ready-to-drink probiotic bubble tea, took the top award in Danisco USA's 2006 Danisco Knowledge Awards.

SymBoba, a ready-to-drink probiotic bubble tea, took the top award in Danisco USA's 2006 Danisco Knowledge Awards.

This is the third year in a row that the competition has been held, to recognize the efforts of food science students at universities across the country. Three teams were awarded cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,000 for first, second and third place.

The unique product that won first place was developed by Brian Huber from Washington State University-University of Idaho School of Food Science & Technology.

"Nothing of that nature had ever been entered before," said JoAnn Rupp, a marketing specialist at Danisco, who helped organize the competition. "Bubble tea is fairly new in the U.S., so it was a very unique entry."

Rupp said the second and third place winners also reflected food trends while offering innovative, unique ideas.

"There is a great interest in convenience food, and the second place was a frozen dessert pizza," she said. "You can just pop it in a microwave and it's handheld".

Product evaluations began in early May and consisted of a two-day preliminary judging forum, with six Danisco food specialists. Twelve finalists were selected, and an appointed panel of six product development experts independently judged the top products.

Dairy Foods and Prepared Foodsmagazines helped promote the competition, and assisted with organization and judging.

First place

Huber and his team submitted a product that consists of tea, milk, Boba (balls), Danisco's Litesse ® II polydextrose, and Danisco's fruit flavorings. SymBoba utilizes Danisco's Grindsted® Alginate FD 150 to create stable Boba gel networks. This specially designed alginate Boba serves as a carrier, or helps encapsulate Danisco's Howaru ™ Probiotics and preserve the good health properties of the product. SymBoba also contains Betaine (Betafin® BF 20), an extract of sugar beets that among other attributes is an osmoprotector that assists in bacterial cell viability.

SymBoba is a symbiotic creation, mixture of probiotics and prebiotics to aid digestive health, combined with the natural antioxidant properties of green tea. SymBoba Bubble Tea is a healthy and delicious alternative as well as a unique spin to the other ready-to-drink teas in the market.

Second place

The first runner up went to Virginia Tech and Team Leader Mark Kline. Mark and his twelve teammates produced a product, Sweetza, a gourmet white chocolate and raspberry frozen dessert pizza. The luscious pizza's wonderful flavor was developed using Danisco C9038 Natural & Artificial White Chocolate and C21661 Natural Raspberry WONF Flavors. Sweetza is formulated to only have around 200 calories. This is approximately half the amount of calories per serving compared to other desserts sold in the frozen dessert section of the supermarket. To maintain stability in the dough after freezing and during the baking process, Danisco's Grindsted PowerFreeze 300 and Grindsted PowerFreeze 200 blends were added. These products prevent ice crystallization, and maintain dough strength.

Third place

Congratulations to Mallory Kelly and her team from Michigan State University. This team submitted a new type of classic American cheesecake with a twist, called Cheesecake-to-Go! A single serve frozen novelty product, designed for consumers who are looking for a convenient indulgent treat. This new cheesecake concept is an individually sized serving of frozen cheesecake, served in a waffle straw and dipped in milk chocolate at one end. Cheesecake-to-Go! comes in three delicious flavors using frozen fruit and/or Danisco flavors, Danisco Vanilla Extract, C11152 Strawberry Flavor or C10977 Blueberry Flavor. It is a unique and innovative frozen treat that provides portion control, fewer calories and zero grams of trans fat. Since the Cheesecake-to-Go! contains high levels of dairy products, it can supply 1 out of 3 servings of the recommended daily dairy requirement as well as provide a good source of calcium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A and vitamin D.

For more information about the Knowledge Awards visit knowledgeawards/us of contact Joanne Rupp at 800/255-6837.