TOLEDO — Ohio is rich with signature products developed locally, and some even enjoy being recognized regionally and nationally.
The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) sponsored the Ohio Signature Food Contest which showcases many new products ready to take that next step — actual product development.
Two winners were selected in recognition of their product concepts:
• Hot Mama’s Pepper Jam by Cheryl Holsapfel (Garrettsville, Ohio); a hot pepper jam made with Ohio-grown jalapenos and green peppers. With a blend of sweet and heat, it can be used as a marinade, salad dressing or even added to a dish for a little added spice.
• Raspberry Habanero Jam by Victoria Miller (Convoy, Ohio) a jam with a blend of fresh raspberries, pure cane sugar and blended habaneros. It pairs well with cheddar cheese, cream cheese or crackers.
Following a review of written applications and presentations by food entrepreneurs and chefs to a panel of judges, the highest scoring concepts were selected based on the viability of the product, commercialization potential, business strategy, and overall appeal to the marketplace.
As a result of the award, technical assistance from CIFT will be provided to the start up businesses ranging from business planning, product/process development, shelf stability testing, labeling review, regulatory assistance, and batch product preparations for sampling.
Later, production will take place at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK) in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The NOCK is a commercially-licensed kitchen that educates and provides technical assistance to new and growing food businesses.
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