The Processed Meats (MEATSCI 4510) class presented its final products to visitors who wanted to taste and judge the students' creations. Individuals or teams produced a variety of meat products. The students had to include proper labeling, a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) safety plan, and a marketing and advertising plan in their final presentation. The course was taught by Dr. Macdonald Wick, associate professor, with HAACP assistance from Dr. Lynn Knipe, associate professor in the departments of animal and food sciences.
Students in the course enjoyed trying to come up with unique products, that would still have a market. One group, "Duck the Halls", took on the challenge of creating products made with duck (a holiday duck sausage with brie, cranberries and butternut squash, and duck rinds).
"Duck is a high end product that a lot of people don't use," said Senior Food Business Management major Patrick Hoffman. "We liked being able to work with and create products that people may only buy for special occasions."
David Kelty, also a senior from food business management, agreed, "We decided to make this really unique and base our flavors around the holiday season. That's why we used things like butternut squash and brie cheese."
Making unique products can create some challenges. Members of "HLS' Buffalo Balls" (mozzarella-stuffed buffalo chicken meatballs) found the creation of their product challenging for even those in the Meat Lab.
"The biggest challenge was perfecting the formula," said Sophie DaCunha, a senior animal sciences major with a minor in meat science. "Even the staff in the Meat Lab found helping us challenging because of the breading on the outside and the cheese inside the meatball."
Lexi Fye, a senior chemical engineering major with a minor in food processing, added, "A meatball is supposed to be 65% meat. You add in products like cheese and water, that have different levels of moisture, and it can be a challenge."
The course attracts a wide range of students. Of the 16 students enrolled in the course, 10 are from majors outside of animal and meat sciences. Fye, took the course as an elective for her minor. "I really like that the course takes learning outside of the book. We're in the meat lab and learning first-hand the complete process of making and marketing a meat product."
However, animal and meat science students also find the course valuable for their career-experience. "I really like how I have been able to see the whole food-animal industry through my major in animal sciences and my minor in meat science," says DaCunha. "You start with getting to see the animals and how they're raised. Right now I'm in a carcass preparation and evaluation course and this processed meats course. I've been able to follow the creation process of food products from start to finish and it's given me a greater appreciation for all of it."