July 18, 2013

Contact: Chris Murphy
805-756-2933; cmurph18@calpoly.edu

Cal Poly Food Science and Nutrition Students Take Top Honors at Institute of Food Technologists Competition

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly Food Science and Nutrition (FSN) students placed first and second in their respective categories at an international competition held by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). The competition, which took place during IFT’s Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago, Ill., judged student teams on their ability to develop nutritious food solutions for a variety of real-world challenges. Cal Poly’s undergraduate FSN students competed against 67 domestic and international universities, including undergraduate and graduate students. 

Cal Poly’s FSN students were awarded first place in the Disney – IFTSA Product Development Competition. The team was challenged with creating a market-relevant, nutritious and delicious snack that integrated a fruit or vegetable in a product targeted to children under the age of 12. The FSN students developed a sweet fruit-based dip with a serving of baked apple that contained more than one full serving of fruit and a vegetable component. The entry was judged on final proposal, sensory evaluation and oral presentation. A $3,500 prize was awarded for the first place finish.  Team included Rima Abukazam, Alison Shapira, Adam Yee, Taryn Yee and Andrea Zeng. 

Another team of Cal Poly FSN students took second place in the Developing Solutions for Developing Countries category. Their challenge was to create food product supplements to address malnourishment of patients served by HIV clinics in developing nations. Entries were judged on their ability to address the issues specific to a selected region based on available raw materials, limited utilization, and nutritional requirements of the region’s HIV-positive individuals. Cal Poly’s team developed a product named Malawi Mix, which utilized local ingredients, such as Malawian fish, and process technology available in the region. The product provides children infected with HIV essential daily nutrients in a sweet and salty paste that is easy to swallow. A $1,000 prize was awarded for the second place finish. The team included students Rebecca Flores, Maxine Funk, Matthew Goldstein, Ashley Long, Christina Neumayr, Emma Sandquist, Jaime Savitz, Jade Stenzel, Kyler Walters, Adam Yee and Andrea Zeng.

“We are extremely proud of our students and their ability to develop creative, innovative solutions, not just in international competitions, but every day,” said Gour Choudhury, FSN department head. “The IFT competition demonstrated that our Learn by Doing experience gives our students a clear advantage when it comes to solving real-world problems.”

Cal Poly’s student teams were advised by FSN faculty members Amy Lammert, Amanda Lathrop, Hany Khalil and Peggy Papathakis.

IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo
The IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo is the largest annual food science forum and exposition in the world. Thousands of food scientists, research and development professionals, suppliers, marketers and news media attend the conference each year. They learn about the driving forces behind the innovations and trends affecting consumers, as well as the growers, processors, regulators and researchers who contribute to the food supply, both in the U.S. and abroad.

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