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Food Product Development: The Grownup Grilled Cheese Project

By: Lauren Krohn, Jennifer Joyce, Teng Chiu, Louis Mullen

Abstract With our product we were hoping to provide people with a healthy well-rounded meal. Our sandwich is a good and excellent source of many vitamins and minerals and it is also very filling for a small amount of calories. This does not mean that taste was sacrificed. Mushrooms, tomatoes, good cheeses, and garlic provided some excellent flavor. The squash and spinach added bulk and nutrients to the sandwich without adding very many calories. We wanted to appeal to people’s desire for their favorite comfort food and also tempt them with better nutrition from our sandwich compared to the original. Our sandwich contains over a full serving of vegetables and is high in protein and high in fiber. Our sandwich is only 400 calories. The sandwich rated 7.475 for overall liking, 7.275 for appearance, 7.3 for flavor, and 7.05 for texture. Most people rated our sandwiches lower than they would have because they thought the sandwiches were too cold. If our sandwiches were warmer, like they would be if served in a restaurant, they would have received a higher rating. Introduction 1. Objective of project and rationale for product selection: We chose this product because we thought grilled cheese sandwiches had so much potential to work with. Grilled cheese sandwiches have so many variables that can be changed such as type of bread, oil, cheese, seasonings, and ingredients and each of these changes can be made easily. Also so many people love grilled cheese sandwiches so we thought it would be a popular choice to provide people with and also one we would enjoy tasting over and over again for lunch. 2. Background: Grilled cheese recipes abound in online searches. There are even several restaurants and food trucks all over the country that have solely dedicated themselves to making grilled cheese sandwiches. š Some readings we found on the subject included “Cheese Wiz: Chefs grill up medley of garnishes and upscale ingredients to put a new face on old favorite.” A variety of chefs from different restaurants told of their effor ts to heighten consumer interest surrounding the grilled cheese sandwich by adding a wide variety of high quality ingredients. š The article explained that any one of the ingredients in the classic grilled cheese could be substituted. š These chefs added ingredients like bacon, apples, steak, beets, and even foie gras in an attempt to attract more “grown-up” consumers. We also found an article titled “Grilled for Grownups” discussing the current trend to put new twists on the old favorite by adding “adult” ingredients. The article “Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S.” further discusses how chefs across the country are putting their own twists on the basic grilled cheese sandwich. Although we would like to think that we were the first people to come up with adding spaghetti squash to a sandwich, we realized after doing an online search there are a few different versions on spaghetti squash in a grilled cheese. With the enthusiasm that many people hold for this food product we are now convinced that there is nothing that people have not experimented adding to a grilled cheese. After doing the project, we came to the conclusion

that adding squash to a sandwich without knowing it had already been done allowed our creativity to decide what was going into the sandwich. We also thought we were original with the Grownup Grilled Cheese product but that also has been done before several times. Our Rapid Assessment concluded that people looked favorably on our idea for a healthier grilled cheese product, but some did not like our slogan for the sandwich. They said that the whole “grownup” concept was a little pretentious and that it would be better to focus on a concept that just promotes health. We ended up keeping the concept because we liked how catchy “grownup” grilled cheese sounded. 3. Product Concept: Your favorite grilled cheese is all grown-up! We’ve used a variety of cheeses suited for the adult palate. To enhance the nutritional content and the flavor we added an assortment of vegetables such as mushrooms, spinach, and garlic piled high onto whole grain, high fiber bread. Our hope is to provide you with a well-rounded meal packed with an assortment of nutrients including many vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and heart healthy grains. You’ll be deliciously satisfied for 400 calories. Enjoy!

Experimental procedures (Methods) For our grilled cheese, there are independent variables and dependent variables. Our goal was to create a product that not only tastes delicious, but looks appetizing and contains valuable nutrients for the body. Independent variables include ingredients such as tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, spinach, basil, different cheeses, and different breads. These variables affect our dependent variables such as acceptability, overall liking, taste, appearance, texture, and nutritional value. Each week we selected different treatments to test against the different measures we wanted to cover every week. Our prototype modifications are listed below:

Week Rye bread with olive oil spread over the top. Fontina, gruyere, and cheddar cheese 1 topped with chopped arugula made up the inside of the sandwich. Garlic cooked in olive oil was spread onto the inside of the bread. The sandwich was cooked in a regular pan. Salt and pepper were sprinkled in the sandwich. Week Substitute rye bread for whole wheat, gruyere cheese for parmesan and garlic cloves 2 for garlic powder. Prepared in the same fashion. Week Substitute whole wheat bread for whole wheat high fiber bread. Did not use garlic 3 powder or salt. Went back to Gruyere cheese. We added spaghetti squash to one

sandwich and tomato to the other. We got griddles which made cooking the sandwiches much easier. We also oiled the pan instead of the sandwich. Week We used cheeses generously supplied to us from the Rumiano Cheese Company. We 4 used low-fat cheddar, havarti, and smoked mozzarella. We used spinach versus basil. Each sandwich had spaghetti squash and tomato. This time we added minced garlic to the inside of the sandwich. Week Sandwiches are the same except for one sandwich has mushrooms and one sandwich 5 has tomato. They all have spaghetti squash and spinach. Week Preparing a sandwich which has all of the vegetables (spinach, tomato, mushrooms, 6 and squash) versus a sandwich with only spinach, mushroom and squash without tomato. They both had garlic in them. At this point we felt this was our best product yet. Week This week we decided use the sandwich with all of the ingredients (spinach, tomato, 7 mushrooms, squash and garlic). Our control we made just like we did the week before. We compared it to a sandwich with the same ingredients, but all chopped up and mixed together. Week Based on the feedback we acquired from our sensory evaluations, we decided to go 8 with the chopped sandwich with all of the ingredients.

Despite the different variations we added or subtracted every week, we still kept certain measurements specifically the same. Each week we were consistent with the measurements of cheese, oil, pepper, garlic and number of bread slices. Every week we used exactly one loaf of bread making eight sandwiches (two slices each). Each cheese was shredded and measured out into a bowl where it was mixed together. We weighed out each cheese to 151.33 grams. Then, we would mix in whatever other ingredients we had that week in with the bowl. Once we added garlic into our recipe permanently, we would chop an entire bulb of garlic and divide it between the control and the new sandwich. Each sandwich contained one shake of pepper for taste.

After assembling each sandwich and after the iron skillets were hot, we added the oil. Each skillet would get two tablespoons of oil evenly dispersed onto the skillet by spreading it with a paper towel. After the first side of the sandwich is golden brown, we would take the sandwich off the skillet and place it onto a big cutting board. We would spread one more tablespoon of oil to each skillet and place the other side of the sandwiches there to crisp up.

We used different evaluation methods to decide which characteristics of the sandwich were most important to us. The first instrument we used for product testing was the penetrometer. We used the penetrometer because we wanted to learn some information about the tenderness of the sandwich. Test1 Test2 Test3 Test Mean___ 70 mm 72 mm 71 mm 70 mm 70.75 mm

The second instrument used was our own senses. Every week we would make decisions based on how well the ingredients mixed together, how the sandwich looked and most of all, how it tasted. For example, after weeks of creating a sandwich that ultimately looked appealing due to its various colors, we still were not completely satisfied with the taste. We liked all of the ingredients that we chose, but they did not seem to work well together. Finally, we decided to chop all of the ingredients up more and mix them together. This made our sandwich more texturally appealing because ingredients did not fall out when taking a bite into it. After deciding on what pertained as the perfect sandwich, it was time for our fellow peers to help us decide. We gave Unit 2 a visual analog test to fill out. After interpreting our results, we concluded that the chopped up sandwich was far more popular than the control.

Results We did not include any information on statistical analysis because for our consumer testing we only used one sandwich. We came to the conclusion to only use one sandwich because it would’ve taken too long to make double of our recipe for sandwiches. We also believed that by the end of it all, we had the best product possible. After weeks of changes and the feedback we received from Unit 2, we concluded we had the perfect ingredients for our sandwich. In the end, we figured out the best way to prepare our sandwich, which was the chop everything up and mix it before placing it on the sandwich. The tables below show the results from our consumer testing. On the tables the frequency that people chose a particular numerical score (1-9) for particular attributes of a sandwich.

________Overall___ __Appearance Avg= 7.475 7.275

Flavor 7.3

Texture___ 7.05

V. Discussion

1. Interpreting Results: The test subjects rated our sandwich a 7.475 out of 9 for overall liking which means they liked it approximately 83.1% out of 100.

Some factors which limited our study is that the test subjects assessing our product were all students on campus who are either in the nutrition major, have nutrition major friends, read the student announcements, or just happened to be walking by while we were doing our testing. The fact that all of these test subjects were students and most of them probably has an interest in nutrition makes our sample population not nearly broad enough unless we were able to sell the sandwich on campus. In which case our sample population would be decent. Another factor that limited our assessment of how much people actually liked our sandwiches is the temperature of the sandwiches. People started complaining that the sandwiches were cold so we tried a couple of different tactics to keep them warm before people got them such as trying to keep them heated in the oven or trying to microwave them quickly right before we served them. Neither of these tactics worked very well. People still complained that our sandwiches were too cold.

If we sold our sandwiches on campus they would do well because they were rated so highly even though they were getting too cold too fast. People still liked them a lot, with the exception of the two people who said this sandwich was just not their thing. Those two people rated our sandwich very low (2’s). This lowered our results but we still had an overall liking of 83.1%.

2. Health Claims Good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Iron, and Potassium. Excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Copper, Magnesium, Maganese, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Selenium, Thiamin, and Zinc. Contains over a full serving of vegetables in one sandwich. Only 400 Calories per sandwich.

The Grownup grilled cheese would be marketed to restaurants. This product would be great for a restaurant setting because it is easy, fast, delicious, and healthy. Restaurants would want to have our product on their menu. Our food product would also be excellent to sell on or near campus because students liked the sandwich. We could offer restaurants our recipe or we could sell them the ingredients of the sandwich. If we let them use their own breads and oils but sold them the mixture of vegetables and cheese to fill the bread with restaurants might be interested in buying our product.

VI. Conclusions/Recommendations Grilled cheese sandwiches are wildly popular in our country and there are so many variations of them. Our team created a unique grilled cheese product which would be ideal to serve in a restaurant setting because it is quick, easy, and nutritious. These factors would make our item a bestseller on a restaurant menu. We basically came up with the perfect sandwich, but if there was anything that could be changed it may be the bread. Different restaurants could use the types of breads they already carry at our restaurant.

1. What are the “bottom line” conclusions resulting from this project? Our product rated very highly considering the two people who didn’t eat foods similar to our product and also the sandwich samples would get cold too quickly. With those two factors our sandwich still rated an 83.1%.

2.

What recommendations do you have for further research on this product? After weeks of extensive research and testing, we concluded that we came up with the perfect product. Our sandwich would sell very well at a restaurant setting or on campus. To make our product any different we would need to create a whole different sandwich. We created a nutritious, filling sandwich and we accomplished exactly what we set out to do. VII. References cited. -Seghian, Pamela. "Cheese wiz: chefs grill up a medley of garnishes and upscale ingredients to put a new face on an old favorite." Culinary Currents. 17 2003: 27 & 60. Print. -Wallace, Lisa. "Grilled for grown-ups.." San Francisco Chronicle 08 Sept 2011, pE1. Print. -Food & Wine, . "Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S.." Shine Food. Yahoo, 22 2012. Web. 13 Dec 2012. <http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/best-grilled-cheese-us-220000335.html>.