Students Jaya Banjade, Sonali Raghunath and Jillian Shanks recently competed at the 96th Annual Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest (CDPEC), held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Cheese Industry Conference hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. The team was coached by Professor Tonya Schoenfuss and Dustin Grossbier.
Fourteen colleges and universities from the United States and South Korea participated in this year’s contest. Competing schools were: Aims Community College (Colorado), California Polytechnic State University, Clemson University, Cornell University, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, South Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, University of Tennessee, University of Wisconsin, Washington State University/University of Idaho and South Korea was represented by Seoul National University.
Banjade won first place in milk, second place in cheddar cheese and placed third overall for graduate students. Raghunath placed first among graduate students in cottage cheese.
Established in 1916 by several universities, the CDPEC was initially designed to identify quality defects in dairy products throughout the country so defects could be corrected. It expanded over the years to recognize those students and dairy product judging teams that had mastered the ability to identify high-quality dairy products. The contest gives students the opportunity to showcase their evaluation skills and prepare for careers in the dairy industry.
Students test their sensory abilities against professional judges in six different dairy products: fluid milk, butter, yogurt, cheddar cheese, ice cream and cottage cheese. Dairy industry judges from around the country review eight representative samples of the six different dairy product categories and score each sample based on sensory attributes and the severity of their departure from the ideal. The students are challenged to present scorecards with answers that come as close as possible to the judgments of the experts.