BYU food science team wins 2018 IMPA new dairy product award

A team of food science students from Brigham Young University won the 2018 Idaho Milk Processors Association new product competition Saturday. They not only earned some serious bragging rights, but $10,000, too, at IMPA’s annual meeting in Sun Valley, Idaho, for their first-place-winning new product idea — Sparkling Scoops, a carbonated, hard-pack ice cream, sold in single-serve, pull-top cans.

“The innovative process design and formulation enable a singular product experience only available via advanced carbonation technology applied to the world’s favorite dairy dessert,” the BYU team writes in its final report. “Our fizzy, creamy frozen treat is a curiously unique dairy product just waiting to tingle your taste buds. The sensory qualities of Sparkling Scoops truly represent an entirely new product category with limitless flavor applications. Our three current flavors — root beer, orange cream, and cherry cola — are the perfect refreshment to share with a friend.”

The BYU team is comprised of co-captains Kate Hartmann and David Doxey and their colleagues Jeremy Arbon, Jeffrey Rime, Greyden Clark, Courtney Marshall, and Alisa Larsen. Mike Dunn, Laura Jefferies, and Brad Taylor serve as faculty advisors.

Utah State University, which submitted a delicious frozen dessert called SCOOPs that is a good source of protein and contains phospholipids, captured second place and $5,000.

“SCOOPs utilizes a low-value byproduct of whey processing called whey phospholipid protein concentrate,” the Utah State team writes in its final report. “WPPC contains a high level of polar lipids that can be beneficial to gut and brain health, and is currently underutilized. Along with high phospholipid content from WPPC, this frozen dessert will also contain approximately two times the protein concentration of regular ice cream.”

The team reports both the processing facility that supplies WPPC and consumers would benefit from increased WPPC utilization. Apart from using WPPC to form the body of the frozen dessert, the team used it to make caramel and chocolate fudge sauces that enhance the phospholipid content. The Utah State students have developed two SCOOPs flavors to date — sea salt caramel and chocolate fudge.

Utah State’s team is comprised of David Dang, Brynli Tattersall, Minghao Li, Vidita Deshpande, Isaac Bowen, Jason Young, Austin Thomas, Zachary Cooper, and Sujan Acharya. David Irish serves as faculty advisor.

South Dakota State University took third place and received $3,000 with its team’s Over the Moon sweet dairy spreads that feature a sugary and savory dairy flavor, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, and a spreadable texture at refrigerated temperatures.

The team developed two distinct flavors: Celestial Strawberry Jam is a delicious combination of dairy and fresh fruit and Silky Butter Bliss is a heavenly combination of butter and hydrolyzed milk permeate. The former contains 60 percent dairy and has a simple ingredient statement that includes fruit, hydrolyzed milk permeate, pectin, and citric acid. The latter is 100 percent dairy and only contains sweet cream butter and hydrolyzed milk permeate.

“Over the Moon spreads also serve as a source of milk minerals, and consumers can enjoy them without worrying about lactose intolerance because they have less than 0.1g of lactose per serving,” the SDSU team writes in its final report. “They are also positioned to take advantage of the growing fruit jam and dairy spread categories. Both categories have experienced sustained growth in the last decade. In contrast to regular fruit jams, Celestial Strawberry Jam contains no added sucrose, and its sweetness comes from hydrolyzed lactose. In contrast to butter, Silky Butter Bliss has a subtle, sweet flavor and is spreadable right out of the refrigerator.”

SDSU’s team is comprised of Steven Beckman, Maryam Enteshari, Ahmed Hammam, and Venkateswarlu Sunkesula. Lloyd Metzger serves as faculty advisor.

Brigham Young University-Idaho earned fourth place and $2,000 with its SPARKS carbonated ice cream.

“This new twist on a favorite American classic is simple and sophisticated yet fun, drawing all ages to the clean-designed single-serve package,” writes the BYU-Idaho team in its final report. “The first part of the sensory experience is when you pull back the foil lid of the ice cream cup and pressure is released, much like the excitement of opening a soda can. The ice cream is creamy and rich with bold flavor.”

So far the team has developed two flavors: root beer float and orange creamsicle. They say you can taste the acidity and feel the tingle on your tongue as you eat the dessert, creating a fun experience unique from other ice creams on the market. As it melts, the carbonation becomes stronger, “making every bite better than the last” according to the students.

BYU-Idaho’s team is comprised of Travis Woodbury, Natalie Johnson, Madison Bunker, and Benjamin Britt. Steven Winkel and Jeff Hamblin serve as faculty advisors.

Garnering fifth place and $1,000, the Cornell University team developed Whey2Go — an on-the-go single-serve snack made of more than 60 percent dairy ingredients including five savory pancake dippers and one portion of ranch-flavored dipping sauce.

“Whey2Go is better for you and better for Earth,” the Cornell team writes in its final report. “The main ingredient in Whey2Go is Greek Yogurt Acid Whey, an underutilized byproduct of the dairy industry. The 20-fold increase in Greek yogurt consumption in the past 10 years has resulted in the production of vast amounts of YAW, which can present a huge environmental impact if disposed improperly.”

Furthermore, YAW’s high acidity and saltiness present challenges for its processing, disposal, or ingredient use in value-added products.

“These difficulties explain the current use of YAW limited to irrigation, animal feed, and energy production in wastewater treatment,” the Cornell students explain. “Our team decided to face these sensory challenges and explore a delicious way to utilize YAW and enjoy its benefits as a food ingredient.”

Cornell’s team is comprised of Julie Camacho Flinois, Pedro Menchik, and Ashton Yoon. Carmen Moraru serves as faculty advisor.

All Things Artisanal Kefir Dip, a collaborative effort by the University of Idaho and Washington State University, took sixth place and earned the team $1,000.

The dairy-based dip is made with heavy cream, milk, grains, hydrocolloids (including a blend of xanthan gum, locust bean gum and guar gum, and a blend of carrageenan, maltodextrin and dextrose), garlic, shallot, and butter. It is 85 percent dairy by weight, offers 2 grams of protein, only has 1 gram of carbohydrates, and contains only 60 calories per 30-gram serving that come from 51 grams total fat.

“This dip is designed to be a refrigerated product to maintain product quality over a longer period of time,” the team writes in its final report. “There are a number of flavor directions we could have taken with this product, but the one we will be presenting is a garlic and shallot blend. This flavor combination tastes great on carrots and chips alike, making it a versatile snacking option.”

The schools have a longstanding tradition of joining forces for the competition, although this year’s team is comprised of UI students Maryam Baniasadidehkordi, Ivan Pettit, Fariba Zad Bagher Seighalani, Glenn Grout, Carly Piller, and Kristen Sparkman. Helen Joyner from University of Idaho serves as faculty advisor.

Supported by Dairy West and judged by leading dairy farmers and industry experts, the annual contest challenges universities with strong nutrition and food science programs to create the most promising new food product containing dairy ingredients.

“The growing innovation these students bring to bear each year is incredible, and it’s very exciting for our industry,” new product competition chair Alan Reed says. “When we launched the competition nine years ago, the teams were just suggesting basic, traditional dairy products and a few new flavors. Now we’re seeing true innovation where the students are developing revolutionary new food product concepts that contain at least 51 percent dairy ingredients.”


IMPA is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote the Idaho dairy industry, cooperate with all organizations that work to advance and develop it, hold annual conferences focusing on subjects relative to the processing of milk and milk products, and act in unison in matters affecting the welfare of all dairy interests. Visit for more details.


Dairy West is a regional dairy promotion organization established in 2017 to represent dairy farmers, processors, and supply chain partners in Idaho and Utah. A Qualified Program regulated by the USDA National Dairy Promotion & Research Board, the 501(c)(6) organization raises awareness of the importance of dairy farming, promotes the health and nutritional benefits of dairy foods, and encourages global demand for Idaho and Western U.S. dairy foods through coordinated marketing and communications efforts, nutrition counseling, and research programs. Visit for more details.