Undergraduate Research

The deadline for the 2017 competition has passed.

If you have been participating in an independent research project, then the Undergraduate Research Competition is for you. The competition is open to any IFTSA undergraduate member who has participated in original research, and who has not graduated by July 1 2016.

Entrants are asked to submit a letter of intent to enter, an abstract describing the research (500 words or less), and a verification letter from the Food Science Department Head. Six finalists will be chosen to present their research both orally and via poster at the IFT Annual Meeting in the summer. Each finalist will be given a $500 travel award. In addition, the top three finalists will be awarded prizes of $1000, $750, and $250 and will be sent to them after the Annual Meeting.


Any student member of IFT, as of March 1 of the year of the competition, who is an undergraduate student or who has not graduated prior to July 1 2016 is eligible to compete. Work must have been done individually by an undergraduate. A signed letter from the Department Head or a professor verifying the originality of the student's work will be required. The letter must be received by the Undergraduate Research Competition Chair no later than March 1. Letters can be emailed.

*Review updated competition rules for recent rule changes and improvements 

2017 Finalists:

  • Dean Hauser, Cornell University
    Research: Recovery of Soft Resins from Brewery Waste Using Supercritical CO2
  • Anya Kwan, Harvey Mudd College
    Research: Delivering flavor: Orange oil nanoemulsion encapsulated in filled soluble hydrogel complex
  • Alexander Mills, University of Massachusetts
    Research: Colorimetric Detection and Inactivation of Escherichia Coli based on Gold Nanoparticles and Sodium Hydroxide
  • Katia Pozuelo Bonilla, Zamorano University
    Research: Antimicrobial resistance patterns of generic Escherichia coli and Salmonella isolated from retail meats
  • Anna Schmenk, The Ohio State University
    Research: Non-targeted Screening for GMO High Oleic Soybeans and non-GMO Conventional Soybeans by Vibrational Spectroscopy
  • Carolina Zuniga, University of Costa Rica
    Research: Evaluation of the effect of pH and organic acidulants on the thermal tolerance and survival of Pichia manshurica in acidified cold-filled hot pepper sauces

March 1
Abstracts due

Finalists will be notified

June 25 - 28, 2017
IFT17: Oral & poster presentation

All submissions are due by 11:59pm CST

Helene Mecate
Cal Poly Pomona

Competition Rules (PDF)