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Badgers have developed a number of life-saving and world-changing innovations over the last 175 years, but some of our favorite UW inventions are the tastiest. Necessity is the mother of all invention, so when Charles Sanna ’39 needed to use up the surplus wartime coffee creamer packets his family company, Sanna Dairy Engineers, had produced, he took inspiration from brown cows. His packets of creamy, chocolatey goodness launched as Swiss Miss in 1961, the world’s first instant cocoa that could be mixed with water. After Jean Langenegger Schultz ’51 graduated with a degree in food science, she took her talents to Oscar Mayer. While looking for new ways to utilize a machine that packaged sandwich spread into tubes, she developed a new product entirely: slice-and-bake cookie dough. Oscar Mayer sold the product to Pillsbury, and though you should thank her for easy access to fresh, warm cookies, don’t blame her for anything that happens if you sneak a taste of raw dough. Speaking of guilty pleasures, Edwin Traisman is responsible for what one could argue is the world’s most popular junk food: McDonald’s french fries. Traisman, a food scientist, opened the first McDonald’s franchise in Madison before becoming a food researcher and administrator at the UW Food Research Institute. You can thank his frying and flash-freezing process for those oh-so-tasty, hot-and-ready fries. But if you don’t feel like leaving your house for some fried potatoes, get your spud fix from a chip bag, thanks to research done at the Hancock Research Station. Pro tip: get really innovative and top your chips with a variety of Traisman creations: Cheez Whiz and instant pudding. Now that’s what we call a square meal.

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