And the winner of Danisco USA’s 2007 Knowledge Award is…Jeremey Hinkle, a senior in food science at Kansas State University. Fiesta Braciole, a stuffed breaded beef entrée, was his winning entry.

And the winner of Danisco USA’s 2007 Knowledge Award is…Jeremey Hinkle, a senior in food science at Kansas State University. Fiesta Braciole, a stuffed breaded beef entrée, was his winning entry. The $10,000 winner was shocked upon hearing of his victory. “He had to call me back,” says Danisco Marketing Manager, Rebecca Bingman, who notified the winners, “Because when I was explaining the details, he was so shocked that he didn’t hear everything I said.”

Hinkle took the top prize in the fourth annual Knowledge Award. The competition was initiated to recognize and foster innovation among food science students at universities in the U.S. It gives students the opportunity to use their academic knowledge and practical skills in a real world situation. This hands-on competition also helps them gain a greater understanding of the industry and the new product development process.

Each year, more and more universities participate, some with multiple teams. “The exciting thing over the years is how creative the students have become,” says Ariella Gastel, Senior Business Development Manager, Health and Nutrition, one of the organizers of the competition.

Product evaluations began in early May, and after two days, 12 finalists were selected. The top 12 products were then evaluated by six independent food industry expert judges on taste and product criteria, marketability and novelty. In addition to the first prize, second and third prizes of $5,000 and $2,000, respectively, were awarded.

“The competition has raised the bar on innovation.  We received concepts that we had never seen before, anywhere,” says Gastel. “Students are very mindful of food trends like health and convenience, and since they come from many different countries, some participants took the unique approach of marrying native grains and ingredients with local tastes.”

First place

K-State’s Hinkle took the top prize all by himself with an indulgent entrée-Fiesta Braciole-made of stuffed, breaded beef. “It tasted very good and was well executed,” says Gastel. “You could see people eating it on a regular basis, and that’s key to a new product’s success.”

The Fiesta Braciole is a convenient, pre-prepared entrée that can be easily thawed and baked. The breading on the product has a delightful mouthfeel and is visually pleasing with the white cheese sauce on top. The filling consists of red, yellow and green bell peppers, yellow onions and creamy Cheddar cheese. The ground beef contains Grindsted Meatbinder 2-540 for improving the texture and Guardian Rosemary Extract 09 to protect flavor and improve storage stability.

Second place

A team from the University of Idaho took second place. Team leader, Adam Tegeler and his four teammates produced, Spoon-Its, a product that combines citrus guava yogurt with a cranberry-granola, spoon-shaped cookie. Eight Danisco products were used in the final formulation of Spoon-Its. The combination of Benefat B and Litesse Polydextrose reduced fat and calories.  Litesse Polydextrose also added prebiotic fiber benefits. Yo-Mix ABY-2C culture, Grindsted SSD-5445 and SSD-5998 Stabilizer Systems and Natural Lemon-Lime Flavor plus Natural Guava Flavors transformed the yogurt into a tasty treat. 

Third place

Third place was awarded to a team from California Polytechnic State University. Team Leader Paula Durongwong and two other teammates developed, Lets Dip, a new gourmet artichoke cheese dip with unique flavored crackers. It is packaged in a convenient, ready-to-eat, single-serving-perfect for a party snack or anytime of the day. Panodan 150K is used in the artichoke dip for emulsification and minimizes excessive oiling-off as the product is baked.  C102188 Natural Basil Flavor is also used in the dip to provide a pleasant herbal flavor. C20192 Natural Ruby Port Wine Type Flavor and B30438 Black Currant WONF gave the wheat crackers a sweet floral aroma with a tinge of red wine flavor balancing the flavors and aroma present in the artichoke dip. n

For more information about the Knowledge Awards visit