Results of the 2023 JU Student Competition

October 21, 2023

Wuxi, China

Jiangnan University

Saturday, Oct. 21, marked the final round of the 5th Annual Jiangnan University (JU) Student Food and Beverage (F&B) Innovation Competition, one of the components of the USDEC-JU partnership.

"The event allows us to deepen students' knowledge and understanding of U.S. dairy ingredients' and their performance in food systems, stimulate their creative potential and better prepare them for a successful career in the food and beverage industry,"  said Annie Bienvenue, USDEC vice president, Global Ingredients Technical Marketing Services.

This year's theme was "The Power of Dairy Brings Infinitive Possibilities". The contest guidelines specified that the proportion of dairy ingredients used in the proposed product formulations should be greater or equal to 20% on a solid basis, and the usage level of the major dairy ingredients - defined as dairy permeates and dairy proteins - should be no less than 10% on a solid basis. 

The competition was launched in May; then in July, twenty-two teams entered the contest by submitting proposals that covered several product categories, including snack foods, beverages, dairy products, condiments, and frozen foods. Seventeen teams passed the first review and entered the final round, judged on Oct. 21. 

For the Finals, students presented their new innovative F&B concept and offered prototypes for tasting. JU students were invited to attend the presentations and vote on their favorite prototypes. 

A formal panel of seven seasoned judges invited by USDEC from the local industry, along with Chang Su from USDEC China, and Dr. Lina Zhang from JU, ranked the entries based on taste, innovation, use of the dairy ingredients, and readiness for commercialization. Students also received points for the quality of their presentation and ability to answer the judges' questions. 

Judging Panel:
1. Mr. Shenglin Duan, Vice President, China National Research Institute of Food and Fermentation Industries
2. Mr. Jian Yang, Deputy General Manager, Royal Group Co., Ltd.
3. Mrs. Jiaoyan Luo, General Manager of Projects Development, Ningxia Saishang Dairy Group
4. Mr. Xiang Li, R&D Director, Food Research Institute, Shanghai Laiyifen Co., Ltd
5. Mr. Qing Lu, Product Director, Jelley Brown
6. Mrs. Qingyin, Senior Product Expert, Yuanqisenlin (Beijing) Food Technology Group Co., Ltd.
7. Mr. Yuhui Wang, Application & Research Engineer, Glanbia Nutritionals
8. Mrs. Chang Su, USDEC China representative
9. Dr. Lina Zhang, Associate Professor, Jiangnan University

"The judging lasted more than five hours and we are very thankful for all the efforts that went into the competition by the students, the staff at JU, and USDEC--and especially the time invested by the judges to participate and help shape the bright food-formulator minds of tomorrow," said Bienvenue.

Click here for a visual recap of how the competition unfolded:

The results of the competition are in! Here are the prize-winning products.

First Place: 

Peptides Yoghurt - contains WPC, MPC, whey permeate and milk permeate

Second place and the Best Flavor Prize:

Non-alcohol Milk Beer - contains milk permeate

Second place - Meal Replacement Shake

Yoghurt Planet - contains WPC, MPC and milk permeate

Second place - Kambucha

Third Place:

Chicken Pudding - contains WPC, MPC and milk permeate

Third place - Dairy Porridge

Mushroom with Dairy Magic - contains WPC and milk permeate

third place - emo assassin

Rice Wine Dairy Blancmange (Gelly) with Oat - contains MPC, dairy permeate and SMP

The Most Creative Prize

Dairy Cake with Quinoa and Mushroom - contains WPC and milk permeate

The Most Potential Prize

Yoghurt Candy - contains WPC, MPC and dairy permeate

Top 3 of Public Voting:

1. Peptides Yoghurt - contains WPC, MPC, whey permeate and milk permeate

2. Yoghurt Planet - contains WPC, MPC and milk permeate

3. Whole Wheat Nougat Biscuit - contains MPC and milk permeate

Learn more about the 2022 JU Student Competition.

For questions and additional information, please contact Suzanna Stohr (