A fourth year food science student with the University of Manitoba says the key challenge in developing a new food product is flavour.

Seven teams representing the University of Manitoba’s Food Science Department competed in 2010 in the Great Manitoba Food Fight-Forks Edition held in conjunction with Discover Agriculture in the City in Winnipeg.

Teams were charged with developing a marketable food product, packaging and a marketing strategy.

The winning team made up of Sally Diep, Chantal Eusebio. Scott Sawa, Tian Tian and Brian Ji developed an avocado cream cheese spread.
Sally Diep says the team focused on creating a unique tasty healthy product.

U of M Food Fight Audio Clip

Transcript of  Sally Diep-University of Manitoba:
The key nutritional aspect of this product is, we all know cheese is very beneficial to us, it’s a healthy product and it was decided well let’s try to incorporate something that is also healthy but can mix with the flavors, not separate out on us and have that same consistency throughout.

The avocado is full of fat but good fat, healthy, full of antioxidants, full of vitamins, full of things that will benefit our health so why don’t we put the two together and make a good healthy product that people can use.

Challenges for us during the process was formulation and flavor.

Another challenge to us is to see how we can make this a marketable cost-effective product that’s not too expensive for us and not too expensive for the consumer but still attain the whole health concept and health benefits that will market to the people who are more aware of their dietary intakes so that they can choose a better healthier fat spread onto things that they like to enjoy.

Diep says the team tinkered quite a bit with flavor to come up with a taste people would want to put on their bread.

She’s hopeful the new spread can be taken to the next level and ultimately appear on grocery store shelves and in food processing.

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