Texas Tech meat science students get creative with final projects

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Updated: 11/27/2013 9:53 am
Creating your own original recipe and then putting it into an original product is what students in the Texas Tech meat science program were challenged with. 

And products like pork poppers turned out pretty good. 

"The most favorite aspect of the show is the originality of the students," Chance Brooks, Ph.D., said. "And everyone has done an exceptional job of creating what they think is a unique food item. And so they all have done an excellent job of applying the different processes the different things we do in lab. There's such a variety today but it's all represented. The entire course is represented here today. So I'm not going to single out an individual winner. I'm just going to say today they're all winners for different reasons." 

Everything from what could be appetizers to actual meals and even dessert was on display and up for tasting as well. 

Katy Satree, a senior at Texas Tech, went the breakfast route creating a honey jalapeño breakfast sausage and she told us there are a lot interesting ways people come up with the recipes that they put on display. 

"If you look around you see all the different types and sorts of unique ideas that people come about," Satree said. "And sometimes it's old family recipes that nobody knows about and other times it's just things that everybody wanted to try and see how they worked out in the end." 

And the students really lived up to the challenge creating creative dishes along with creative names for them. 

"This masterpiece, porkaroni and cheese, is going to be your new hot item on the shelves found today," Chad Vander Linden said. "What it is is just macaroni and cheese fine grinded with pork, and lowrey's and garlic salt. All mixed into one beautiful piece of art." 

"I just took pork loin. I put it in the center and I took some homemade jalapeño cream cheese, I rolled it in that, wrapped it in bacon and deep-fried it," Nick Hardcastle said.  

Creating your own product from scratch is not the usual final project for a class.  

But Dr. Chance Brooks, who instructs one of the classes participating in the food show, told us doing this instead of a test helps out the students more in the long run. 

"What we really wanted to do was to be able to take our capabilities and our facilities here and all the expertise we have and allow them to experience that in a learning environment so they could apply it," Brooks said. "And we think it results in the end in more retention and better retention and take home." 

And not only do the professors like what the students get out of it, but students like Nick Hardcastle and Chad Vander Linden really enjoy doing something like this to really show off what they have learned this semester. 

"It shows off the students talents," Hardcastle said. "Actually you get to put in process what you did in labs and stuff like that. See how well you paid attention and maybe who's the best at processed meats." 

"I loved it," Vander Linden said. "This is the actual first time I've put some true passion and real dedication and hard work into a final. Unlike just taking a test, studying, cramming for it. That's OK but actually getting to put out a passion for your final project. Had a lot of fun and got a lot of knowledge out of it." 

So you never know because of one class at Texas Tech and one final project, one of these students might of created the next big thing in the food industry.
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