Iowa St. students' crust takes top prize in NASA contest

May 9, 2002

AMES, Iowa -- A pizza crust developed by Iowa State students took first prize in the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center (FTCSC) product development competition.

According to a report by Space Daily, a group of food science and human nutrition students created EZ Crust, which astronauts may one day use in space for pizza.

EZ Crust is made from okara, a high-fiber, high-protein soymilk and tofu byproduct. The Iowa State team earned a trip to showcase EZ Crust at the Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting and food expo in Anaheim, Calif., June 15-19. The students also will present the EZ Crust product to scientists at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in November.

The Iowa State students competed against teams from universities across the nation. Each team designed foods or processing systems to meet the criteria for missions to the moon and planetary outposts. Those criteria called for a product that could be made from crops grown in space, prepared easily and eaten without producing many crumbs. It also was supposed to be safe, nutritious and tasty. Food scientists from NASA and commercial food companies evaluated the students' products.

Cheryll Reitmeier, NASA FTCSC education mission specialist and competition coordinator, said the product is a creative and versatile use of a food item that is usually viewed as waste.

"This product has applications for new foods on earth as well as in space," Reitmeier said.

Topics: Dough

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