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By MacKenzie Kirkbride
The top 40 FFA chapters in the Food Science competition met in Gainesville at The University of Florida on Saturday Dec. 3 to determine the state champion.
The FFA food science contest teaches FFA members about food safety, processing guidelines and product development. Members also must identify common spices by smell and perform a triangle test to determine quality.
Cedar Key middle FFA chapter members Nathanael Brinkman, MacKenzie Kirkbride, Abby Osteen and Annabel Lashley comprised the team. After several weeks of after- school practices (including some PIZZA practices), the team took their learned skills to compete in the state finals.
First, the team was presented with a product scenario where the team had to create a new sport drink, list the ingredients, design a product cover and present the product to a panel of judges. Next, the team took a written exam about food science, health and safety. The next event was two triangle tests about food differences. The last event was the odors lab where team members had to identify smells like oregano, basil and anise, for example.
The team was coached by FFA advisor Dennis Voyles.
When the contest ended, the Cedar Key team had earned fifth place in the state. Nathanael Brinkman was the top scorer on the team. The team will receive its state trophy on stage at the state FFA convention in June.
Way to go FFA Sharks!