April 22, 2022

WCU Teams Compete in New High-Tech Food Sensory Lab During “The Great Hummus Smack Down”

Community members will be able to taste & vote for the best hummus recipe during the University’s free 150th Anniversary Open House Showcase on Saturday

hummus teamWest Chester University’s Department of Nutrition is holding its 1st “Great Hummus Smack Down” competition in the University’s new high-tech Food Sensory Lab located in the new Sciences and Engineering Center & The Commons. On Friday, April 22, four student-faculty teams rolled up their sleeves to prepare and plate tasty hummus recipes in 45 minutes. Small (1 oz) sampling cups were provided and teams were required to fill/label 50 cups for tasting. In addition to WCU faculty, students and staff, the delicious hummus samples will be evaluated by guests attending the University’s free community-wide 150th Anniversary Open House on Saturday, April 23, 1-3 p.m. A winner will be announced during the University’s closing anniversary festivities on Saturday, April 23.

The food product for the timed competition was classic chickpea hummus with red pepper. Teams supplied the main ingredients and were able to use any form and combination of spices and garlic. Each team was required to make 6.5-7 cups of hummus.

Competing in the first-ever culinary smack down were four teams from the University’s College of Health Sciences; the College of Education and Social Work; the College of Arts and Humanities; and the College of the Sciences and Mathematics.

The Great Hummus Smack Down competition provides students, faculty and staff with an opportunity to feature their culinary prowess in an advanced food sensory evaluation lab where students are taught how the taste, smell and flavor of foods/drinks affect people’s food choices. The lab also provides an environment conducive for teaching students how sensory evaluation can help food and nutrition professionals prevent and treat certain chronic diseases. The food sensory evaluation lab has a controlled sample preparation room and a tasting room with four self-contained booths for computer-based sensory data collection managed by RedJade system software. Participants sit down in a controlled lighting and ventilation room and rate the different characteristics of the foods based on their own perceptions.

The Great Hummus Smack Down competition is part of the University’s free 150th Anniversary Open House Showcase on Saturday, April 23, 1-3 p.m. As the University “wraps-up” its year-long anniversary celebration, free music, games, refreshments, and lots of educational fun will be featured.

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