AMES, Iowa — A pizza crust developed by Iowa State students won first
prize in the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center (FTCSC)
product development competition. A group of food science and human
nutrition students created EZ Crust, which may someday allow
astronauts to enjoy pizza in space.

EZ Crust is made from okara, a high-fiber, high-protein by-product
of soymilk and tofu production. The Iowa State team earned a trip
to showcase EZ Crust at the Institute of Food Technologists annual
meeting and food expo in Anaheim, Calif., June 15-19. The students
also will present the EZ Crust product to scientists at the Johnson
Space Center in Houston in November.

Cheryll Reitmeier, NASA FTCSC education mission specialist and
competition coordinator, said the product is a creative and versatile
use of a food item that is usually viewed as waste.

“This product has applications for new foods on earth as well as in
space,” Reitmeier says.

The Iowa State students competed against teams from universities
across the nation. Each team designed foods or processing systems
that could meet the criteria for missions to the moon and planetary
outposts. Those criteria called for a product that could be made
from crops grown in space, prepared easily and eaten wi‚àt
producing many crumbs. It also was supposed to be easy to prepare,
safe, nutritious to eat and good tasting. Food scientists from NASA
and commercial food companies evaluated the students’ products.

EZ crust is the culmination of two years of research. The students
on the winning team are: Stanley Prawiradjaja, West Des Moines;
Safir Moizuddin, Bangladesh; Nicolas Deak, Argentina; Theresa Walters,
Beaconsfield; Jasmine Kuan, Malaysia; Mia Susanto, Indonesia; Miki
Katayama, Japan; Roy Santoso, Indonesia; and Kariman Koning, Indonesia.

The students based their work on an initial version of EZ Crust
developed last year for the 2001 competition. Those students included
Sommer Hackenmiller, Grafton; Tessa Hackenmiller, Grafton; Carrie
McDonald, Moline, Ill.; Maria McKean, Armstrong; and Tien Vinh, Iowa
City, for the 2001 Product Development Competition. Mark Love, a
associate professor in food science and human nutrition, was adviser
for both groups.

Teams submitted their products to the competition in early April.
Winners were announced on Monday, April 22.

The product development competition was established in 2001 to
increase awareness among food science and technology students about
foods and the food processing required for long-term space travel.
The NASA FTCSC was established at Iowa State in 1999 to develop
foods and food-processing technologies that enhance space missions
and advance commercial food products. More information about the
competition and the center can be found at


Cheryll Reitmeier, NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center

(515) 294-4325

Katherine Carlson, NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center

(515) 296-5387

Barbara McManus, Agriculture Communications Service
(515) 294-0707

Steve Sullivan, News Service

(515) 294-3720