An idea to preserve fresh food propelled a team of five freshmen from Startup Aggieland’s Startup Living Learning Community to be named one of 21 finalists for the inaugural Food Challenge Prize. The competition was sponsored by the Food Lab at the University of Texas.

Team members from Mays include Berryman Tolder, Hunter Pearson, Price Burnett and Felipe Estrada.

More than 120 registrants of all experience levels and from a wide range of backgrounds entered the competition, which encourages innovations of all types in the global food system. Judges from the Food Lab’s advisory committee selected the finalists, who will continue to work with industry mentors for around 13 weeks before the Food Challenge Showcase in February 14, 2015. Over $30,000 will be awarded in prize money.

Animal science major McCalley Cunninham described the team’s idea, “Go Fresh!” products, which seeks to preserve food during transport in order to reduce food waste. “Go Fresh!”” products contain an OYA gene that absorbs ethanol to prevent deterioration of produce, she said. We are losing $165 billion a year by throwing away wasted food. If we can resolve this issue, then we can help with the challenge of feeding the world in the next 50 years.”

The “Go Fresh” team is doing a patent search and, if the idea is not patented already, will go forward with provisional patent preparation.

For more information on the competition, visit http://utfoodlab.com/2014-ut-food-lab-challenge/.

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Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.