• Cielo Vista

Costa Rican students’ insect-based foods take top spots at international competition

July 16, 2015

Tico students took the two top spots in an international competition for their innovative ideas for fighting malnutrition with insect-based food.

Two teams from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) took first and second place Tuesday in the international category of the U.S. Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)’s  “Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition.” The annual awards recognize the top three best scientific projects proposing food solutions for developing countries.

Earlier this year, local teams from the UCR’s Food Technology School were selected among the top three semifinalists among 59 proposals from around the world. The teams presented their projects this week to a jury at IFT’s Annual Conference in Chicago, and debated in a panel with the judges and members of all participating teams. Along with the international finalists, there were three projects from U.S. universities.

The winning Tico team presented a product called “Cricketas” – cookies made from powdered crickets and sweet potatoes. The project aims to improve nutrition for children in rural communities in Costa Rica’s northern zone, including Los Chiles, La Cruz, Upala and Guatuso.

Second place went to the Tico team that produced “Molibannann,” patties made out of plantains and mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor). The students designed the product for feeding children with malnutrition problems in Haiti.

A team from the University Putra Malaysia took the third spot with a product called Coco-Wormy.

IFT competition winners receive $3,000 and the runner-up gets $1,000.

The Ticos attendance at the competition was a real challenge as organizers only paid for travel and accommodations for one person per project. But UCR authorities campaigned to raise funds to send all group members to Chicago.

Read about the winning projects: Costa Rican students turn larvae, crickets into nutritious meals to fight hunger

Edible insect food
Larva patties could help feed malnourished children in Haiti, while cookies made from crickets could help children from impoverished communities in Costa Rica's Northern Zone. (Courtesy of Jessy Usaga/UCR)
Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Letters from the trail: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 2)
Costa Rica
631 views
Costa Rica
631 views

Letters from the trail: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 2)

Garry Wallace - June 20, 2019

Earlier this year, we told you about Camino de Costa Rica, a 280-km hike from Costa Rica's Atlantic to its…

From Río San Juan to San José: A Nicaraguan refugee in Costa Rica tells his story
Nicaragua
109 views
Nicaragua
109 views

From Río San Juan to San José: A Nicaraguan refugee in Costa Rica tells his story

Jacob Spetzler - June 20, 2019

Nelson Jesus Zeas Paz was late, a consequence of the infamous San José traffic. When he arrived, he walked quickly…

Costa Rica 101: Using your cell phone in Costa Rica
Costa Rica 101
213 views
Costa Rica 101
213 views

Costa Rica 101: Using your cell phone in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - June 20, 2019

One of the better parts of any vacation is disconnecting from the rest of the world. But whether it’s for…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!