A team from University of Minnesota took first place in the American Society of Baking’s Product Development Contest. The theme for the competition was “Sustainability – Caring for our future” and the prompt was to develop a bakery product that highlights upcycled ingredients and is shelf-stable at room temperature for at least 14 days.
Four UMN students rose to the challenge with the creation of ReToast, cookies made with at least 30% upcycled ingredients. ReToast comes in three different flavors: cinnamon spice, pumpkin spice, and mocha. In an effort to reduce waste and optimize food ingredients, the ReToast team created their own upcycled flour blend made with three different kinds of upcycled grains, including toasted bread scraps, spent barley, and spent Kernza®. “Spent” grains refer to the byproduct from beer and manufacturing processes.
Radhika Bharathi is a long-time Kernza® enthusiast and was committed to incorporating the perennial grain into the product she and her team worked on. For more information on Bharathi’s research on Kernza®, check out this interview with her.
Special thanks to Connie Carlson who helped the ReToast team source Kernza® and Trevor Russell from Friends of Mississippi River, who brewed beer with Kernza® grains and gave us the remaining spent Kernza® flour.