Penn State Dairy Products Evaluation Team places in national contest

Members of the Dairy Products Evaluation Team (from left), Meg Shi, Jiaxin Sun, Kerry Kaylegian (coach), Kayla Graff and Gabriel Somarriba.   Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Dairy Products Evaluation Team in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences won several awards during the National Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Competition held April 17 in Madison, Wisconsin.

The team placed third in the cheddar cheese and fourth in the all products categories. Team member Kayla Graff received an individual third place in the all products category. She also placed sixth in butter, cheddar and cottage cheese.

In addition to Graff, Penn State also was represented in the competition by Meg Shi and Jiaxin Sun, as well as visiting student Gabriel Somarriba from Escuela Agrícola Panamericana Zamorano, who placed ninth in butter. Shi finished fourth place in ice cream and fifth place in milk.

A total of 44 undergraduate students from 15 universities participated in the contest.

Student contestants use their sensory-evaluation skills to match the flavor, body and texture, and appearance scores determined by expert industry judges in milk, butter, vanilla ice cream, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese and strawberry yogurt.

In addition to placing third in cheddar cheese and fourth in all products, the team also placed fourth in cottage cheese and yogurt, fifth in butter and milk, and sixth in yogurt.

After the competition, the students visited with industry professionals and attended the trade show at the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association Cheese Industry Conference. After tasting dairy products during the morning, the team still had room to try Wisconsin-style fried cheese curds at dinner that night and frozen custard the next day.

Last Updated April 29, 2019