ECU nutrition science students unveil pizza sauces, aim for commercial success

East Carolina University nutrition science students will share their own pizza sauces from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. April 11 in the Golden Corral Culinary Center in the Thomas W. Rivers Building on campus.

Dr. Melani Duffrin

The students have been developing the sauces for potential commercial production, in conjunction with Crabtree Foods and Spartan Foods of America.

ECU professor Dr. Melani Duffin, who teaches the food science class, said her students complete a food development project each spring, often in conjunction with major food companies. The students have developed several good recipes, she said, and now they are offering to share their samples with the public.

“Such active learning projects promote teamwork and enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills,” Duffrin said.

Representatives from the partnering food companies will select a winning sauce or sauces, which could then undergo further testing for potential commercial development.

Crabtree Foods owners Eddie and Nick Crabtree, both ECU graduates, said they were excited about partnering with the students. “Many schools have their stamp on products in the marketplace, and it would be great to collaborate with East Carolina on a new successful product,” Eddie Crabtree said.

“It has always been a goal of ours to work with East Carolina University, and we are thrilled about potential success in the marketplace,” he said.

Crabtree Foods distributes food to all branches of the military in the U.S. and throughout the Middle East, with offices in Greenville, Raleigh, and Dubai, UAE.

For additional information, contact Peggy Novotny at 252-328-2882 or



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