The 2016 Food Innovation Challenge announced today that Kathy's Kitchen of Virginia, Illinois; Soozie's Doozies, LLC of Union, Missouri; and Sweet Freedom Gluten Free Bakery of New Hampton, Iowa, will continue to the competition's final round. These three finalists will present to a panel of judges, with the final winner being announced at an awards banquet at the Decatur Club the evening of Thursday, Aug 11.

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Co-sponsors Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and National Foodworks Services (NFS) celebrate wit ...

Co-sponsors Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and National Foodworks Services (NFS) celebrate with the three finalists for the 2016 Food Innovation Challenge. L to R: Tony Caccomo, managing partner; NFS; Al and Chantal Papousek of Sweet Freedom Gluten Free Bakery; Robert Stanton and Olivia Kelvin of Soozie's Doozies, LLC; Daryl and Kathy Keylor of Kathy's Kitchen; and Mark Matlock, senior vice president of food research, ADM. (Photo: Business Wire)

The winner of the Challenge will receive $50,000 in seed funding from Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM), $50,000 in services from National Foodworks Services (NFS), along with other prizes, all designed to help advance their food innovation.

Kathy and Daryl Keylor of Kathy's Kitchen produce a Vidalia onion relish. Their mentors are Randy Bird, regional sales manager, Matsutani Ingredients; and Myung Kim, Decatur SCORE chapter.

Olivia Kelvin and Robert Stanton of Soozie's Doozies, LLC offer a refrigerated cookie dough. Their mentors are Jon Seighman, senior director food applications, ADM's WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business unit; and John Wellehan, managing director, Good Food Business Accelerator.

Chantal and Al Papousek of Sweet Freedom Gluten Free Bakery produce gourmet gluten-free cupcakes. Their mentors are Mark Floerke, bakery applications research chef, ADM; and Doug Brauer, vice president of economic development, Richland Community College.

The 10 semi-finalists for the 2016 Food Innovation Challenge presented their second-round pitches to the judges on Tuesday, Aug. 9. During the pitches, contestants were able to use the Richland Community College kitchens as well as the knowledge gained over the past two months working with mentors to help fine tune everything from product formulations and ingredients to target markets and business plans.

A limited number of tickets for the awards banquet are still available for $50 each and can be purchased online at www.foodinnovationchallenge.com/registration. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit Mercy Kitchens, a 13-week culinary-based job skills training program offered by The Good Samaritan Inn.

Additional prizes and services may be provided by other contest sponsors including Aripack, County Market, Dale's Southlake Pharmacy, Jones & Thomas, Merieux NutriSciences, Millikin University, PTL and Richland Community College. A full list of contest sponsors is available at www.foodinnovationchallenge.com in addition to more information about the finalists and their food innovations. The Food Innovation Challenge is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.

About The Food Innovation Challenge:

The Food Innovation Challenge is a start-up competition for aspiring Midwest cash entrepreneurs to showcase their new or early stage food business and product ideas. The Grand Prize Winner will receive $50,000 from Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and $50,000 in services from National Foodworks Services (NFS) to help get their food idea off the ground. For more information and a full list of contest sponsors and partners, visit www.foodinnovationchallenge.com.

About ADM:

For more than a century, the people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) have transformed crops into products that serve the vital needs of a growing world. Today, we're one of the world's largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, with more than 32,300 employees serving customers in more than 160 countries. With a global value chain that includes 428 crop procurement locations, 280 ingredient manufacturing facilities, 39 innovation centers and the world's premier crop transportation network, we connect the harvest to the home, making products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses. Learn more at www.adm.com.

About National Foodworks Services:

National Foodworks Services is an incubator commercial kitchen project company. Resting in Illinois' billion dollar gateway, National Foodworks Services offers a full range of FDA approved commercial food processing including baking, bottling, freezing and packaging of consumer ready food products. National Foodworks Services will further expand opportunities for small or new food concepts looking to bring products to the consumer arena. For more, visit www.nationalfoodworks.com.

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