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Note Book

Fall 2006 • Volume 12, Issue 4

Look what’s cooking now

by Aimée Roy

Cookware test

Students (l to r) Heather Herbst ’06, Katie Fedota ’06, Laura Thompson ’06, and Jonathan Scott ’06 test cookware in the Family and Consumer Sciences Food Lab.

Pots and pans clanged and vegetables sizzled as students tested newly developed cookware in Bradley Hall. Dr. Nina Collins and Kathe Eberhardt ’69, staff nutritionist for Hurley Industries, makers of Americraft/ Healthy Gourmet Cookware, collaborated to arrange for a group of Bradley family and consumer sciences students to conduct research using Healthy Gourmet Cookware. The line of cookware recently was created by Americraft of West Bend, Wisconsin.

Almost 40 years ago, Eberhardt was a lab assistant for Collins while studying dietetics at Bradley. The two kept in touch through the years, and together they developed the testing program and secured a grant to help with the cost of supplies. “Between the two of us, a program was developed that we felt would be of interest to students and from which we could gain insight into the quality and usability of our cookware,” says Eberhardt. The college received a complete set of the cookware, and the students received credit hours for their research.

Student testing began last fall in the newly renovated department and lab facilities in Bradley Hall. Lisa Esposito '06, Katie Fedota '06, Heather Herbst '06, Jonathan Scott '06, and Laura Thompson '06 evaluated various components of the cookware and worked with techniques of greaseless and waterless cooking. “We evaluated different vegetables such as broccoli, red peppers, tomatoes, and carrots by testing the cookware against other brands of cookware, and used a color spectrometer to determine color variance among the foods cooked in different pots,” says Esposito. The students also practiced their cooking skills while testing pilot recipes for the cookbook that is slated to accompany all sets of the cookware.

In February, under the direction of Dr. Alexey Sverdlin, professor of manufacturing, Bradley manufacturing engineering students Adam Costello ’07 and Khanh Trinh ’07 began testing the cookware’s 7-ply metal construction encased in high quality stainless steel, which is comparable to surgical stainless steel used for hip and knee replacements.

“It has been great working with the Bradley students. Their research has helped us back up our claims,” says Bryan Hurley, CEO of Hurley Industries. “Everything we’ve marketed about the cookware was proven, and they have shown that the nutritional value of the food remains after it is cooked our way.”

The University has agreed to continue the program for an additional four years. “We hope to involve not only engineering students, but also students from other disciplines in the future,” says Collins.