AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass Amherst Food Science students are getting ready for the ninth annual Herrell’s Ice Cream & Bakery Ice Cream Competition, where they will showcase their newly developed ice cream flavors.

Four teams of food science majors will have their flavors tasted and judged by Herrell’s Ice Cream & Bakery representatives in the Integrative Learning Center on May 16 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Apart from the representatives, the event is open to the public and all ice cream lovers are invited to come and sample the flavors while voting for their favorite. For the fourth year in a row, the Food Science Department has partnered with Judy Herrell, owner of Herrell’s Ice Cream & Bakery, who mentored the students throughout the semester.

The students are putting their imagination to the test and focusing on the “science of ice cream.” UMass Amherst alumna Peiyi Shen, a Ph.D. graduate of the food science program, is teaching the product development course this year and encourages the students to think big and put different ideas into practice.

The teams are following a trend in the industry by developing original, out-of-the-box flavors without the use of additives or dyes. Shen says, “People want their ice cream to be all-natural. Sometimes, less is better.”

Judy Herrell is excited to see what this year’s group has come up with and plans to promote the winning flavor in her ice cream shop in downtown Northampton.

The event will take place at UMass Amherst in the Integrative Learning Center, Room S211 on Tuesday, May 16 at 3 p.m.