Pulse Pops tops in taste test

Student-created treat takes first prize at national food development competition.


Edmonton) A tasty treat concocted by a team of students from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences took home the top prize at a national food development competition.

Anastassia Astrakhantseva, Christie Cheng, Diana Nguyen and Stacey Seufert won Pulse Canada’s Mission ImPULSEible—and $2,500—for Pulse Pops, a product they developed that look like chocolate coconut lollipops but are frozen balls made of peanuts, peanut butter and chickpea on the inside, covered by a layer of black beans, cocoa and pecans.

The team developed the product as part of the fourth-year product development course, NuFS 450.

Team member Nguyen said it took days for her to get past the shock of winning.

“It was really nerve-wracking; there were four teams but only three prizes. When they were announcing the first-place winner I thought, ‘We could win or win nothing at all!’” she said.

The students won the Alberta competition last March to earn a spot in the national competition, held in Saskatoon during the annual Pulse and Special Crops Convention.

Seufert said attending the national convention allowed the team to pursue more education and networking opportunities.

“The conference was a wonderful opportunity to meet people who share our interest, passion and knowledge in the food industry, which we have an appetite to enter,” she said.

Nguyen agreed: “I’ve gained insight in which direction I would like to go after I graduate and have already started working in food product development from the connections this opportunity has exposed me to,” she said, adding that she learned how important and beneficial it is for students to be able to showcase what they’ve learned in school to industry professionals.

Nguyen said the team has no immediate plans to take Pulse Pops to market, but the members are open to opportunities.

See how Pulse Pops are made