OLATHE, KAS. — The California Raisin Marketing Board is accepting applications for its second annual "America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest" through Aug. 15.

Preliminary judging will be made in September to choose 20 professional finalists and 10 student finalists. The finalists will receive an expenses-paid trip to the American Institute of Baking International at Manhattan, Kas., Oct. 9-10, and will bake their formulas in front of a panel of distinguished judges from both the artisan and commercial baking industries. Ten professional bakers (five for the wholesale/commercial category and five for the artisan category) and two students will receive a five-day California vacation with visits to the Culinary Institute of America, Yosemite National Park and the San Joaquin Valley.

To encourage the broadest possible number of applications, the contest is open to bakers and R.&D. staff of commercial baking companies, to craft bakers and retail bakery shop owners, to certified baking teachers and registered students, and to bakery technicians working in allied industries such as bakery supply wholesalers, flour milling companies, and bakery ingredients suppliers. Participants must be 18 years or older.

Formulas submitted may be for raisin bread products currently available in the market or products planned for sale in the future. The California Raisin Marketing Board said it is looking for the best raisin bread possible based on taste, value for money and originality. Applications must be filled out in baker’s percentages, no one person may submit more than three entries, and applicants also must provide color photos of the whole finished loaf and a cut cross section.

In the United States, the legal standard of identity for raisin bread is 50% of raisin content to dry flour weight. This is the minimum acceptable content level for all contestants. But it should be pointed out that contestants may use whole natural raisins, golden raisins, raisins paste and/or raisin juice concentrate to reach to the minimum 50% content level.

Application forms and a full set of rules are available on-line at LoveYourRaisins.com. Applications may be submitted by mail to Contest Administration Office in care of Theresa Cogswell, president, 14740 West 159th Street - Suite 100, Olathe, KS, 66062.