The Cal Poly Dairy Products Judging team placed first in the ice cream category and won second overall at the 99th annual Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest.
The contest comprises six judging categories of dairy products such as milk, dairy, cottage cheese, yogurt and ice cream. The various dairy products are judged on their flavor, texture and appearance.
From the end of winter quarter to the day of the competition, the team prepares daily by tasting and evaluating consumer samples, as well as memorizing industry terms that describe defects and the intensity of the defects that dairy products can have.
“This could mean eating four to six sticks of cheese and several cups of milk or several servings of cottage cheese and 15-20 spoonfuls of yogurt before having a scoop or two of ice cream and a couple of pads of butter,” animal science sophomore Ashley Andes McCullough said. “It was always fun, but it’s definitely not a lactose-intolerance-friendly process.”
The contest was hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and superintended by the USDA Standardization Branch on April 5 in Madison, Wisconsin.
The students were selected for this team due to exceptional performances in an end-of-quarter evaluation in a dairy products evaluation class taught by the team’s coach Vincent Yeung.
Animal sciences associate professor Yeung calls his coaching experience “a privilege” on account of being “blessed with wonderful students.”
“Team performance has been improving every year,” Yeung said. “Next year will be the 100th edition of the national contest, and we will be ready.”