Illinois Tech Food Science and Nutrition Students Develop Food Products at Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations

Illinois Tech students in the Food Science and Nutrition FdSN 408 and 508 Food Product Development courses developed new food products at Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations (CBCI). The course brings the best that the food industry has to offer into the classroom and is taught by Armand Paradis, MS adjunct industry professor, School of Applied Technology/Food Science and Nutrition (FdSN) and Will Maurer, industry professor, SAT/ Industrial Technology and Management (INTM).

The objective of the course is to prepare students for entering the broad field of food product development through a team project experience. The course has 25 students and five project teams. The student teams are challenged to form a food product project team with the key functional roles of a commercial food product development venture that includes marketing, processing, packaging, food safety, formulation and nutrition departments. The project teams formally launched on October 25, 2017 with in-class concept presentations to mentors and concludes with a final pitch to the mentors serving as a mock industry panel on November 15, 2017.

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Students work on their frozen muffins project.

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From left: Arnmand Paradis, Zal Taleyarkhan, and Siva Rangaswamy (FdSN alum ’16) from Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations.

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Illinois Tech Food Science and Nutrition students with Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations.

According to Paradis “the students benefited greatly from the Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations experience. It provides them with a real-life food product development experience in an actual food product development facility with Culinologists and R&D experts to create an actual scalable product that is ready for the manufacturing process. This experience is currently not available on our campus and was made possible by Illinois Tech’s Faculty Innovation Grants program which provided funding to faculty for activities directly related to the career and professional development of Illinois Institute of Technology students.”

Illinois Tech alum Siva Rangaswamy (FdSN 16), associate scientist. helped coordinate the experience for the students. Rangaswamy stated “Our CBCI technical team can guide students through the product development stage gate process, right from concept development to deployment of the product to the market. I am happy to help out the students in a significant part of new food product development process. CBCI is no stranger to education. Our staff and CEO are frequent teachers and students in many disciplines including food science, culinary arts, business, and much more. We are happy to reinforce the goal of spreading knowledge by partnering with IIT.”

This course integrates key food science concepts from the core department curriculum. It also serves as a means for entering students to identify specific areas for further focus in their career path. Topics include discussions of processing requirements in the cereal, beverage, produce, packaged goods, bakery, dairy and several other food product segments. A special emphasis is placed on the product development process, key functional roles in project teams, and identification of the critical project path.

Students in this course are learning how to do the following:

• Identify the key steps in the food product development process, stage gate concepts
• Develop a formulation approach with ability to effectively understand how to work well with vendors, handle labeling regulations, food safety and consumer acceptability requirements.
• Create a product unit costing with trade- offs and contingencies for market launch
• Identify key performance requirements for product shelf life testing and packaging specifications
• Evaluate product quality and safety with traditional and state of the art assessment tools
• How to conduct consumer tests, plant trials and introduce new products and processes into the manufacturing operation, contingency planning
• Develop a strategy to monitor and improve performance

Learn more about the Food Science and Nutrition program at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Learn more about Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovation.

For questions about the course or to collaborate with Illinois Tech Food Science and Nutrition, please contact Paradis at aparadi2@iit.edu.