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sandwich filled with pulled turkey won a plate with potato chips


–by Amanda Wanke
photos by Rolf Hagberg

Consumers who are looking for low-fat, high-protein options for their diets are increasingly turning to turkey as a tasty alternative. AURI scientists have assisted the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association with the development and nutritional analysis for several delicious turkey food options. Read more about two of these projects.

Turkey Sandwich Wins State Fair Award

When Turkey To Go and AURI teamed up to create the Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich, they knew they had a winning formulation. This year, they proved that assertion by earning the inaugural Minnesota State Fair People’s Choice “Best Food or Beverage” award as voted upon by fairgoers.

AURI Meat Scientist Carissa Nath and Senior Scientist of Cereal and Nutrition Charan Wadhawan worked with the Minnesota Turkey Growers on more than a dozen recipe attempts before the right seasoning mixture was developed. Because of turkey’s mild flavor, it easily takes on the taste of whatever ingredients
are added.

“It was fun and challenging, which is one of the exciting things about research and development,” Nath says. “It’s rewarding when you can help a client get a product they are happy with.”

Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, which owns the Turkey To Go brand, says the sandwich has helped them realize a 25 percent increase in turkey consumption at the fair. Serving sandwiches and drumsticks consumes more than 3,100 Minnesota-grown birds during the 12-day run.

Recipes Give Consumers Healthy Turkey Options

Are you looking for some new menu options? Each year at their Minnesota State Fair booth, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association offers new turkey recipes to visitors. Those recipes are sent to AURI’s Food Scientist Charan Wadhawan for nutritional analysis. Check out some great-tasting options including Slow Cooker Fajita Wraps, Roast Turkey Panini, and Italian Turkey meatballs, at

Turkey To Go is also available at various locations in the Twin Cities including two food carts in downtown Minneapolis as well as Target Field.

AURI and Minnesota Turkey Growers Association


Idea to reality:
The Minnesota Turkey Growers wanted to create a flavorful turkey sandwich that would be popular with consumers, as well as identify the nutrition facts for various turkey recipes.

AURI’s role:
AURI scientists provided product development and nutritional analysis services.

Turkey To Go, owned by the Minnesota Turkey Growers, won the “Best Food or Beverage” award at the Minnesota State Fair; they also have many recipes available at the state fair and on their website.