When the course, titled 'Food Product Development', was first offered, Ms. Rangaswamy excelled in the course and was one of the top students. After receiving her Master's degree in Food Technology and Processing from Illinois Tech, she was instantly hired by Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations as an Associate Scientist on their technical team. Ms. Rangaswamy was kind enough as an alum to speak to students and share her real-world experiences.
The event was possible due to a sponsored innovation grant from Illinois Tech's Career Management Center. The grant was awarded to Armand Paradis and Will Maurer to enhance the course offerings with a stronger career path. It provided the funds to take the students to the Charlie Baggs Center for real world product development and project experiences. Ms. Rangaswamy and the Charlie Baggs staff co-hosted the FDSN 508 students at the Charlie Baggs Innovation Center. Ms. Rangaswamy presented the Centers GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) Ground Rules for making food products to the 24 students visiting as a part of the food product development class. Charlie Baggs also agreed to provide students with a professional environment where students will make their food products in teams and pitch them to local food industry mentors later in the semester.
Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations started in 1999, focusing on creating innovative and high quality solution to ensure their clients meet their culinary business goals. Learn more about Charlie Baggs at http://www.charliebaggsinc.com/.
The Food Product Development course in the Food Science and Nutrition program identifies the key steps in the food product development process and stage gate concepts; develop a formulation approach with ability to effectively understand how to work well with vendors, handle labeling regulations, food safety, and consumer acceptability requirements; create a product unit costing with trade-offs and contingencies for market launch; identify key performance requirements for product shelf life testing and packaging specifications; evaluate product quality and safety with traditional and state of the art assessment tools; how to conduct consumer tests, plant trials, and introduce new products and processes into the manufacturing operation and contingency planning; and develop a strategy to monitor and improve product performance.