The Cocoa Processing Company Limited (CPC) in collaboration with the Department of Food Science and Technology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) held the second edition of the “Coco Challenge” competition on the 11th of October 2019. The Coco Challenge aims at challenging students to go beyond theory and come out with innovative, commercially viable, marketable and sustainable shelf stable cocoa-based products for the market that has the capacity of enhancing diversification and utilization of Cocoa in Ghana. This student centered competition is an initiative of Professor William Otoo Ellis and Professor Ibok Oduro.
This year’s competition saw eight groups battle out for the for the most innovative product or package idea. Of the eight competing groups, seven groups (Tequarsh, Emerald, LAD, Cocoxtra, Young Nutritionists, Gold and Frester) had innovative food product ideas whereas the final group (Para lle.a) an innovative package design.
At the end of the challenge, team LAD (innovators of Cocoa Muesli- product from cocoa, millet, sugar and peanuts) emerged the overall winners with teams Gold (cocoa beverage suitable for diabetics) and Tequarsh (a bar product from coconut flakes, caramelized sugar and cocoa) placing second and third, respectively. These groups emerged winners because the innovation aspects were good, local materials were used and logistics involved in the product realization was not complex. All the groups were presented with assorted products from the Company for their participation in the competition.
Madam Genevive Pawar, the representative of CPC, was highly impressed about the student’s presentation skills and the actual presentation of product prototypes. She recommended that the Department takes up some of the projects to work on further with their company support. She also encouraged multidisciplinary (having experts from different Departments within KNUST) approach to projects like these.
Professor (Mrs). Ibok Oduro, former Provost of the College of Science congratulated the participants especially those from different Colleges. She encouraged that cross fertilization of ideas should be practiced and that team work when practiced, will yield better results and great accomplishments.
Coco Challenge since its inception has been an enormous benefit to both CPC and the Food Science and Technology Department in terms of holistic training of students for the industry