Visit Health Watch for COVID-19 updates. Find Employee Return to Campus and Student Return to Campus information.
Emergency Notification

Cal State L.A. students win gold award in food product competition

April 14, 2015

A team of Cal State L.A. students from the Food Science and Technology Program created a unique sweet-and-spicy snack bar that won the top award at a recent food industry competition.

The 2015 Student Product Development Competition was held by the Southern California Institute of Food Technologists Section as a part of the 28th annual Southern California Food Industry Conference in Anaheim.

The Cal State L.A. students took home the competition’s Gold Award for their FEISTY Bar, which is made from dates, apples, peanuts and chili peppers. The nutritious bar contains no sugar and provides a unique and tasteful flavor with its mixture of sweet and spicy ingredients.

Team members are Andrew Aguilar, Brittany Heckel, Noelle Halter and Altagracia Perez. They were awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

“This win by the Cal State L.A. students competing against other Southern California universities has boosted the confidence of our students,” said Professor Sunil Mangalassary, the team’s faculty adviser. “The team members were able to use the science they studied in the classroom and labs to make this unique and flavorful product.”

FEISTY barsThe students beat out teams from colleges including Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal State Long Beach and Chapman University.

The Food Science and Technology Program at Cal State L.A. provides students with knowledge and skills in food safety, food preservation technologies, food analysis, quality assurance and new product development. This degree program is designed to provide technical opportunities for students interested in careers in the food industry.

Photo: From left to right, Noelle Haltar, Brittany Heckel, Sunil Mangalassary, Altagracia Perez, and Andrew Aguilar. (Credit: Cal State L.A.)

# # #


Cal State L.A. is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves over 24,000 active students, and 235,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State L.A. has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit, or like us at