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Cereal science students receive honors

NDSU cereal science graduate students Supun Fernando and Jayani Maddakandage Dona won second place in the Student Product Development Competition at the 2019 Cereals and Grains Association annual meeting Nov. 3-5 in Denver.

Their product was “BeRice” gluten free muffin premix.

Their team was one of the five finalists from around the world in the competition. Finalists were selected from initial project reports submitted before the meeting, based on the originality and feasibility of their project.

“It was challenging to come up with a novel food product that can be ultimately beneficial for North Dakota’s economy,” said Fernando and Maddakandage Dona. “We used dry bean flour as a main ingredient in our product, since North Dakota is the largest dry bean producer in the U.S. and still dry beans are underutilized.”

The purpose of the Product Development Competition is for students to develop and present innovative food products with at least one major cereal or legume. The competition is organized by students and sponsored by Cereals and Grains Association corporate member organizations.

Fernando is a cereal science doctoral candidate from Sri Lanka advised by Frank Manthey, professor and durum and pasta quality project leader. Maddakandage Dona is a cereal science master’s degree student from Sri Lanka advised by Senay Simsek, Bert L. D'Appolonia Cereal Science and Technology of Wheat Endowed Professor.

The “BeRice” project adviser was Jia Jia Rao, assistant professor in food chemistry and ingredient technology.

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