ASB sponsors the Food Science Society (FSS) club of Cal Poly Pomona’s 2022 ‘Food for Heart Baking Competition’

Written by:
Jacqueline Thach
ASB Liaison 2021-22 | Food Science Society
Food Science & Technology, Class of 2022
Cal Poly Pomona


In the beginning of April, the American Society of Baking (ASB) sponsored the Food Science Society (FSS) club of Cal Poly Pomona, to host a regional baking competition that provided an opportunity for students to develop their product development skills, while engaging them in valuable industry concepts (e.g., upcycling, dietary restrictions, etc.). Officially called the ‘Food for Heart Baking Competition,’ the theme of this competition was to highlight the dietary restrictions between different individuals in our society, and challenge competitors to create a product that was mindful of those restrictions. Moreover, teams had to utilize a themed ‘special ingredient’ to incorporate into their product.

This year’s themed ingredient was Coffee Cherry flour, sponsored by Coffee Cherry Co.; a company that intercepts the waste of leftover cherry pulp from coffee production, and upcycles it into a delicious and nutritionally-rich flour. The competitors were allowed to create teams that had members from different universities, as thus, the teams had members representing colleges such as Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State LA, and UCLA. In addition, the baking competition was honored to be judged by these four industry professionals: Dr. Feng Xie, a Senior Scientist from BakeMark; former Executive Pastry Chef from Walt Disney, George Geary; Diana Eid, a 7 year Pastry Chef specialized in making baked treats for dietary restricted individuals; and Sheree Mooney, a Chef Instructor at Cal Poly Pomona.

Three teams competed in the 2022 Food for Heart Baking Competition. The team that placed first was Team Baked Zitis, winning over the tastebuds of the judges’ with their Chocolate Berry Cake dessert. The team’s Chocolate Berry Cake was a dense and moist vegan chocolate cake, frosted with coconut whipped cream, and topped off with tart fresh fruits (i.e., strawberries and blueberries) and a mixed berry jam. Team Arabica placed second in the competition, wowing the judges with their chocolate cake product called Chocolate Strawberry Delight. Team Arabica’s product was a vegan and gluten-free chocolate cake coupled with coffee buttercream and strawberry filling, and topped off with brownie crumbles and honeycomb toffee. Team Cook Till Golden Eagles placed third in the competition, offering the judges a delectable experience with their own version of Black Forest Cake. The Black Forest Cake was vegan, soaking the layers of the cake in cherry syrup, frosted with a vegan cream cheese frosting, and topped off with a tart berry compote on top.

Each team did a fantastic job, earning themselves prizes of $400, $300, and $200 to respectively the first, second, and third place winners. In addition, the first and second placed teams were respectively rewarded cookbooks donated and signed by Judge Geroge Geary himself: ‘The Complete Baking Cookbook: 350 Recipes from Cookies and Cakes to Muffins and Pies’ and ‘Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs.’

The 2022 Food for Heart Baking Competition was a wild ride of culinary creativity. The competition recognizes the hard work and talent of all the teams that competed. The competition also acknowledges the support received by the judges, volunteers, and faculty of Cal Poly Pomona that had helped initiate and contribute to the success of this baking competition. Lastly, special thanks to Coffee Cherry Co. for sponsoring the ‘special ingredient’ of this competition and ASB for financially sponsoring this event.