For the second consecutive year, Cal Poly Pomona food science and technology students have won a national baking competition.
The team of Viral Shukla, Gerardo Pedro, Chelsea Le, and Choco Chai took first place in the American Society of Baking (ASB) Product Development Competition, which was held March 1 in Chicago.
The quartet beat out teams from the University of Florida and Purdue University in the competition finals. Each team had to create a new bakery food product using “novel protein source” that is not commonly found in food: for example, insects, algae, seaweed, or rapeseed.
The Cal Poly Pomona team created “Hoppers,” which was inspired by the classic American whoopie pie: a sweet, chewy marshmallow sandwiched between two French-styled joconde cakes, topped with chocolate, pecans, and bacon bits.
The travel-sized snack used cricket powder as its source of novel protein and maple bacon to help make it more flavorful.
Each Cal Poly Pomona student received a $5,000 scholarship for winning, and the team received a trophy. ASB also covered the team’s travel and lodging expenses.
The competition was held during the ASB BakingTECH 2020 Conference in Chicago, March 1-3.
Last year, the Cal Poly Pomona team of Eric Kinjo, Breanna Barragan, and Steven Pham beat out teams from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Wisconsin, and Purdue University in a contest that required them to create a new flatbread bakery food product.
It’s the second Huntley College of Agriculture team to win a national competition this year.
In January, four plant science students became the first team with female members and the first West Coast team to win the annual Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Turf Bowl in the event’s 21-year history. The event challenges students about their knowledge of the agronomic, business, and financial management aspects of the golf course superintendent profession.
ASB is the professional organization for the wholesale baking community. Members are commercial baking professionals; food technologists; and engineering, equipment, and ingredient experts who are dedicated to advancing baking and baking science technology through education, leadership development, and networking.
BakingTECH is annually attended by more than 1,000 baking professionals from across the nation and around the globe.