WRV Intro to Culinary students with their product creations for FCCLA’s Food Innovation star project.
The last project in Introduction to Culinary and Hospitality at White River Valley was a Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) star project: Food Innovations. FCCLA provides many projects for FACS teachers to use in their coursework and students to use to challenge their skills.
FACS students and FCCLA members complete FCCLA state and star projects every year. Students attending state conference take these projects with them to be judged and receive awards for their efforts.
According to Alexandra Sutton, “Food innovation is the development and commoditization of new food products, process, and services.”
We began this project by reviewing current food innovation trends, and it is amazing what companies are doing to transform their products to make them more user friendly, unique and sustainable.
Did you know that the company Feel the Peel has a machine that makes fresh orange juice and then uses the peel of the orange, along with bioplastic, to make recyclable cups with a 3-D printer? Or that Gatorade has been working on a sweat-sensitive skin patch that can tell you what Gatorade drink will meet your hydration and electrolyte needs?
This year the FCCLA Food Innovations project focuses on replacing animal-sourced ingredients with plant-based ingredients to make an entrée product. This was a difficult challenge for some and like second nature for others.
“Learning about meat and dairy alternatives was eye-opening,” said Alison Jones. “I didn’t know how easy this challenge was going to be.”
To meet the requirements of this project students researched the plant-based food products trend, brainstormed possible entrées, prepared a plant-based entrée and designed packaging for their product.
In order to decide on an entrée to prepare, students thought about their favorite meals and then considered how to remake their recipe to make it all plant-based. They each came up with really unique ideas, then the groups picked out one entrée to prepare.
Each group prepared their entrée. We each tried and evaluated vegan alfredo, spicy toflocky and meatless meatloaf.
“The vegan alfredo used soy milk and vegan butter to make the sauce and used broccoli instead of chicken,” said Abby Shake.
“The spicy toflocky was a rectangle of pan fried extra firm tofu served with steamed broccoli all drizzled in a spicy, tangy sauce,” said Andrew Ellett.
“The Meatless Meatloaf is a loaf containing vegetables and chickpeas combined together with a spicy sauce which looked and smelled similar to regular meatloaf, but tasted plant-based,” said Madison Koenig. I enjoyed eating all of the creations. It was fun to try each entrée.
In order to create the packaging, students researched and compiled nutrients, ingredients, allergy warnings, consumption instructions and net weight for their product. Then they came up with a product name, slogan and design for their packaging. They created 3-D models of their product packaging.
“In the making of the project I really enjoyed the hands on experience of decorating the box with my ideas for the packaging of our product,” said Madison Pilant.
I truly appreciate all that FCCLA does for FACS teachers. This product challenged my students to think creatively to solve the problem of what is for dinner tonight without using animal-based products.
Betsy Misner has been the Family and Consumer Science, formerly Home Economics, teacher at White River Valley for over a decade. Her motivation is helping students to strive for strong, happy, healthy families and providing career pathways. Check out more of what is happening in the classroom by following her on Twitter: WRVFACS@BetsyMisner