Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- May 07, 2003

Cal Poly Students Headed to National New Products Competition

It's called "Vibrance," and it's taking Cal Poly's New Product Development Team to a national collegiate competition in Chicago this July.

The student team, coached by Food Science Professor Brian Hampson, each year researches and develops a new food product as part of a competition sponsored by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), an international professional group.

This year, departing from a tradition that includes chocolate tofu Popsicles and yogurt-custard cups, the team developed a lemon-lime anti-browning and flavoring spray and named it "Vibrance." It's intended as a produce spray for green salads, fruit salads and cut fruits and vegetables. In addition to markedly delaying natural browning that occurs in cut fruits and vegetables, it also imparts a light lemon-lime flavor to poultry, fish, drinks, sauces and condiments.

"We're marketing it toward food service professionals as a quick and convenient meal prep and flavoring tool," explained team captain Jessica Morton, a fourth-year food science major. "But it's also something that can be used in the home. We're thinking of mothers cutting apples for packing in lunches. We tested cut apples without Vibrance and cut apples sprayed with Vibrance and found a significant difference in the rate of enzymatic browning. The apples sprayed with Vibrance resisted browning for up to 9 hours longer when left uncovered at room temperature," Morton said. The product also decreases the rate of microbial outgrowth on the foods it is applied to, making it especially valuable for use in buffet and deli-case dishes.

The students completed testing, taste-testing, and marketing research on the spray and successfully placed in a nationwide new product competition in March, which secured their place at the national finals, to be held July 12-16 at the Annual IFT Food Expo.

Contact: Brian Hampson (805) 756-6127

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