Dairy students from across the country and around the world will test their skills against one another at the 93rd annual Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest on Nov. 8 at the Northern Illinois University Conference Center in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Expert judges from the dairy and ingredients industry will present the contestants with eight examples of each of the following dairy products; milk, sweet cream butter, yogurt, Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese and ice cream. The students will evaluate the products and try to match the expert judges as closely as possible.

The sensory evaluation of dairy products involves training and calibrating the human senses to make qualitative and quantitative estimations of the quality of dairy foods. This skill is typically combined with technical training that allows the evaluator to pinpoint where in the manufacturing process specific defects arise and how to correct them. Students who complete this course of study are uniquely qualified to help advance the dairy industry by guaranteeing the quality of the product reaching the consumer.

Last year’s contest attracted students from South Dakota State University, Clemson University, the University of Missouri, Iowa State University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Wisconsin, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, Loughry College of Northern Ireland, Washington State University and the University of Alberta.

Dairy Foods is a contest sponsor. Visit the Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest website for more information.