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2011 Flavor of Georgia food product contest accepting entries By April Reese Sorrow

On March 22, the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development will reveal the winners of the 2011 Flavor of Georgia contest. Winners will be announced during Georgia Ag Day.

Judges are looking for market-ready foods – either commercially available or prototypes – from across the state. Categories include barbecue and hot sauces, confections, dairy products, meat products, snack foods, and jams, jellies and sauces. Entries will be judged on flavor, best use of Georgia ingredients, Georgia theme, unique or innovative qualities, commercial appeal and originality.

Flavor of Georgia is only a starting point for many of the category winners, said Sharon Kane, contest director.

“Nearly two-thirds of last year’s contestants saw an increase in their sales and business contacts following the contest,” she said.

Previous winners have received national attention. Candy-flavored Fondarific was featured on the Food Network show Ace of Cakes. Hot Squeeze Sweet Heat Chipotle sauce sells in thousands of stores. White Oak Farm products are sold through Whole Foods and Sysco.

Product registrations will be accepted through Feb. 18, 2011. Semifinalists will be announced in February. Final judging will be March 21 at the Freight Depot in Atlanta.

Register online at www.flavorofgeorgia.caes.uga.edu. For more information, call Kane at (706) 542-9809 or e-mail spkane@uga.edu.

The annual food contest is sponsored by the CAED in partnership with the Governor’s Agricultural Advisory Commission, Georgia Agribusiness Council and UGA Department of Food Science and Technology.

(April R. Sorrow is a science writer with the University of Georgia Public Affairs Office.)

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