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FALL 2011
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‘C’ is for Cookie... and Cassava

By Bethany Liebig ’12


Thirteen CALS food science students have developed a tasty way to address iron deficiency in developing countries: cassava cookies.

The team beat out 28 other teams to take first place in the Developing Solutions for Developing Countries category in an international competition at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual meeting held this June in New Orleans.

Their goal was an iron-fortified product suitable for school lunch programs in a poor area of Brazil, where half the population lacks adequate iron and cassava is a major food staple.

As part of the MandiMais project, they created a cookie called ManiKuki, which is naturally fortified with iron-rich cassava leaf protein concentrate and stuffed with an acerola filling. Acerola, a local fruit high in vitamin C, helps maximize iron uptake. ManiKuki provides 22 percent of the daily recommended iron intake and 250 percent of vitamin C for children ages 7 to 10.

ManiKuki may one day be available to children for just 16 cents per child per day through a Brazilian school meal program.

Another group of 15 CALS food science students took home second prize in the Product Development category for Vege3, a nutritious freeze-dried, crunchy vegetable snack that provides the equivalent of 2.5 servings of vegetables.