By Taylor Reeves 

CLEMSON — The Dairy Research Institute has recognized three Clemson University food science students with the first-place prize in the institute’s New Product Competition. The students’ winning product was an oat-infused vanilla milk called “tOATal Milk.”

The competition inspires innovation by requiring college students to develop dairy-based products that meet consumer needs.  

Clemson's winning team — composed of graduate students Jason Raines of Orangeburg, Sarah Stancil of Six Mile and Katie Queen of Clemson — was sponsored by the ’55 Exchange, a student-run business enterprise that produces and sells Clemson ice cream. The competition was open to undergraduate and graduate students.

The winners, selected from 18 entrants, received $8,000.

Participants in the New Product Competition were asked to create a dairy beverage that included more than 51 percent fresh milk, dry milk or other dairy ingredients.

The Clemson team developed tOATal Milk using low-fat milk as the primary ingredient, enhanced with a blend of protein, probiotics, conjugated linoleic acid and fiber. The team marketed the product as a post-workout beverage that allows consumers to shed fat, increase muscle mass and improve digestive health while receiving the complete nutrition of traditional milk.

“Our food science majors are showing the food industry that Clemson is the place to recruit for their next hires in research and development,” said John McGregor, professor in the food, nutrition and packaging science department and adviser for the winning group.

“This is the department’s third team to finish first or second in a National Food Product Development Competition in the last six months,” McGregor said. “If this were Clemson football, our alumni and fans would be talking dynasty.”

The Dairy Research Institute is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. The institute works with industry, academic, government and commercial partners to drive research on dairy products.

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