March 6, 2009
The Red Raider team of Shanna Ward, Heather Veltri, Cassie Chancey and Paden Daniels, won first place at the National Meat Association’s Meatxpo’09 Conference in Las Vegas for their blueberry sausage patties.
Texas Tech University’s four-person product development team forged a first place win Feb. 25 at the National Meat Association’s Meatxpo’09 Conference in Las Vegas. Their winning product: blueberry sausage patties.
Several high-profile agricultural universities from across the nation competed in this second annual cook-off competition, including California Polytechnic State-San Luis, California State Polytechnic-Pomona, California State-Fresno, Florida State, Montana State, North Carolina, South Dakota State and Texas A&M. Tech won the blind taste test, which was judged by convention and meat exposition attendees, by one point.
The Red Raider team from the Department of Animal and Food Sciences included:
Blueberry sausage has a bright future in niche markets across the country, said Jennifer Leheska, a human nutrition research consultant for the beef industry and a former Texas Tech meat science doctoral student who helped develop the product.
To make blueberry sausage, Texas Tech researchers added blueberry puree to the sausage during the grinding process, said Mark Miller, professor of meat science. The sausage was then formed into patties and was ready to cook.
“Kids really like the sweetness of the sausage,” Miller said. “In addition, they are getting something healthier because blueberries have zero fat. If you replace some of the sausage with blueberry puree, you decrease the total fat of the sausage, which is a good thing.”
The National Meat Association, a non-profit trade association formed in 1946, represents meat packers and processors, equipment manufacturers and food suppliers who provide services to the meat industry. It has members from the United States, as well as Canada, Australia and Mexico.