TWU nutrition students showcase innovative food products

The four TWU student creators of Chick Pita showcase their product and packaging to the judges.
From left to right: Tiffany Doggett, Jourdan Reid, Aliza Rizwan and Susan Jones showcase Chick Pita to judges Cynthia Warren, PhD, Shane Broughton, PhD, and Chef Joan Denton.

May 13, 2019 - DENTON - A semester of hard work and experiential learning recently came to a close for senior undergraduate Nutrition students at Texas Woman’s. Adjunct Professor James Adams guided his Food Product Development class through creating new products from beginning to launch, with creative and delicious results.

Adams worked for the Campbell Soup Company for more than a decade before joining Tyson Foods in 2004, where he served as an executive for more than 40 years. Today, Adams brings valuable insight into the workings of the industry into his courses.

“That’s an experience most people coming out of school don’t have,” Adams said. “These students will have the upper hand in getting a job after graduation.”

Students had the freedom to choose any product not already on the market or a highly differentiated version of existing products. The one requirement: the food must be clean label, meaning all ingredients are real, sustainable and listed on the package.

Products included vegan pizza with a quinoa crust, flavored buns to reduce the need for condiments and protein iced coffee. One group went through nine prototypes before finding the perfect formula for microwavable elote bowls targeting college students, branded Cinco Elote Bowls.

“I feel the project as a whole made me a stronger person, built leadership skills, time management and overall communication skills,” says Hayat M. Samod, team leader for Cinco Elote Bowls.

Each team also created extensive business plans along with their products, including:

  • A marketing plan with branded packaging and product expansion opportunities
  • A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP) analysis and food safety evaluation while in production and packaging/storage
  • Large-scale production process development in a factory or industrial food facility
  • Cost evaluations to produce each product and set a retail price
  • A Detailed nutritional analysis and creation of a nutrition label for packaging

Another group created baked hummus style pita chips using chickpeas, branded Chick Pita. Chick Pita included both sweet and savory flavor chips cut into rhombus shapes to reduce dough waste.

Katherine Besadesky, Shiraz Soltani, Huda Al-Someri and Angelene Collins created three flavors of smooth iced coffee with more than 20 grams of added protein per serving.

“This is an accumulation of an entire semester’s work, so it’s exciting and stressful, but we had fun with it,” says Besadesky. “Many of us hope to go into product development, so it’s exciting to have a project that merges business and culinology like this.”

Five TWU students pose in an industrial kitchen setting with their Elote Bowls product prototype.

Left to right: Cody Greer, Hayat M. Samod, Nsrin Alabd, Kristina Hull and Rigoberto Martinez showcase their Cinco Elote Bowl product and package.

Five TWU students plate their elote food product in an industrial kitchen setting.

Left to right: Kristina Hull, Nsrin Alabd, Rigoberto Martinez and Cody Greer of Cinco Elote Bowls.

Shiraz Soltani plates her teams protein coffee product in an industrial kitchen setting.

Shiraz Soltani of Cool Beans Coffe Co. plates her team's coffee product with added protein.

Close up of the coffee products hexagonal shaped packaging prototype.

Packaging prototype from Cool Beans Coffee Co.

A TWU student slices the veggie pesto pizza product.

Angella Fults of Cuatro slices her team's pesto veggie pizza with a quinoa-based crust.

Media Contact

Christy Savage
Staff Reporter

Page last updated 9:46 AM, February 23, 2022