(QCOSTARICA) 12 students from the Food Engineering of the University of Costa Rica University of Costa Rica (Ingeniería en Alimentos de la Universidad de Costa Rica – UCR), working on two different projects, won the International Food Technology fair held in Chicago, USA.
The first project uses crickets and sweet potatoes to provide food for children in the Northern Zone, while the second uses plantains and beetle larvae to create a nutritive paste to provide nourishment to starving children in Haiti.
The UCR’s Food Technology School, the first of its kind in Central America, has been training students and helping small producers develop new markets and technology for 40 years.
The consumption of insects is a growing trend internationally, because of the sustainable nature of their cultivation.
Cristina Azofeifa, Gloriana Hernández, Pamela Malavassi, Daniela Kopper and Krissia Villalta from the cantones of Upala, Guatuso, Los Chiles and La Cruz, which are the lowest ranking in Costa Rica’s development index, took first place in the fair.
The girl screated a chocolate-flavoured biscuit, composed cricket flour and mashed sweet potatoes (camote in Spanish), called Criketas.
Meanwhile, Gloriana Herrera, Ximena González, Yock Mei Acón, Ana María Quirós, Valeria Brenes, Valerie Rangel and Marcela Rodríguez, took second place in the competition with their dry mixture of flour of the Tenebrio molitor beetle, called Molibannan.
Third place went to a team from Malaysia.
Throughout the competition, Costa Ricans competed with 59 other proposals.
The effort of these young people and their presentation during the competition was well received by the judges, said Professor Jessie Usaga from Chicago, in a report published on the UCR website, “Both presentations were clear and made it clear quality the education our students receive. ”