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SLU Nutrition and Dietetics Students Present Innovative Projects in Food Discovery Center at City Foundry STL

The Saint Louis University (SLU) Nutrition and Dietetics students in the Innovation in Dietetics Practice class recently presented their capstone projects in the Deli Star Corporation Food Discovery Center at the new City Foundry STL. The assignment, entitled Double Down, tasks students with creating a start-up venture using their expertise in nutrition, culinary arts, health and wellness and then doubling their startup funds. With support from the Chaifetz Fellowship, each group of students is given seed funds of up to $200 for the project.

Food Innovation Class at City Foundry
Nutrition and Dietetics students in the Innovation in Dietetics Practice class as they present their projects at the new City Foundry.

Members of the SLU Nutrition and Dietetics faculty and representatives from Deli Star judged the participating group in two categories: Best Presentation and Greatest Return on Initial Investment. The award for Best Presentation went to the Oatology  team who created a single-serving oats provider with health benefits tailored by dietitians. The award for Greatest Return on Initial Investment went to Double Date Cookies who offered Arabic sweets made from healthy ingredients.

 SLU Nutrition and Dietetics Assistant Professor and Chef Dan Brewer, MS, RDN, is very excited for students to have the opportunity to have access to the resources at the Food Discovery Center as they work on this challenging project.

 “The Food Discovery Center is a cutting-edge development kitchen and serves as a great space for innovative teaching and learning. We are thrilled to have experts from their team helping to critique and give feedback to the students on their projects,” Brewer said. Our partnership with Deli Star at the Food Discovery Center is just beginning and we look forward to several of our culinary classes operating at the Food Discovery Center going forward.”

 SLU Nutrition and Dietetics Interim Chairperson Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D., ATC, FASAHP, FNAP, was also grateful for the opportunities that this new partnership will allow.

 “The Chaifetz Fellowship and Deli Star have helped us provide a truly unique real-world learning experience for our students,” Dr. Breitbach said. “The Nutrition and Dietetics department values these types of cross-campus and industry collaborations.”

Food Innovation Class Winning Teams
The Double Date Cookies team (left) and the Oatology team (right) at the Food Discovery Center.

 SLU’s Chaifetz Fellowship was founded in 2008 with the mission of supporting entrepreneurship education at the university through actions such as developing new programs, creating new courses, creating experiential or co-curricular activities that promote entrepreneurship, etc. The Chaifetz Fellowship awarded the Nutrition and Dietetics program $2,500 to carry out the project and can apply to be a Veteran Fellow in future academic years to be awarded additional funds to refine the project.

 Earlier in 2021, SLU and Deli Star announced their strategic partnership involving the Food Discovery Center, highlighted by a joint commitment to promoting health and wellness through food nutrition, open innovation, and education. Through the partnership, SLU Nutrition and Dietetics students and faculty will have access to the Food Discovery Center for labs, course work and mentoring. At the Food Discovery Center, students will learn in a collaborative, open-innovation environment and gain hands-on experience with the product development process, commercialization and food nutrition.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.