Midnight Snack: December 2012 Official Newsletter of the IFT Student Association


Head Chef: A Letter from our President


IFTSA Past-President

 CaelHappy Holidays Foodies!

The weather outside in most of the country is starting to get a little chilly, finals are around the corner, and everyone is eagerly awaiting their upcoming break. For the IFTSA Board of Directors, this means that it is time for our annual Mid-Year Meeting which took place in Reston, Virginia, November 9-10, 2012.

The board covered many topics and engaged in strategic planning looking at the future of IFTSA. One key topic that was discussed was the creation of a standard outline of events for area meetings.  This will allow area representatives the ability to share information and news from IFT and IFTSA nationally, while still highlighting and focusing on the special offerings of the area and host location. I hope that everyone will make it a point to attend your area meetings. It is a great chance to connect with fellow students in your area, learn about the activities of your chapters, cheer on your college bowl team, and spread the word about food science.

Another quick topic for everyone to begin thinking about is the IFTSA Election. Nominations open in January, and voting will take place in February in conjunction with the IFT election.  If you are interested in leadership opportunities with IFTSA, or know someone who would be a great candidate, I encourage you to toss a name into the hat. From personal experience, I can say that the experience is an invaluable one, and the friends and colleagues you meet and work with will last forever.

I also wanted to remind everyone that it is competition season. The IFTSA competitions are an amazing outlet for you to put your education to work.  If you have not looked into participating in one or more of our many competitions, you should think about giving it a shot. 

Once again, I wish everyone a happy holiday season, and look forward to seeing what the New Year holds for IFTSA and our members.


Matthew Cael
IFTSA President

Expiration Dates: Announcements & Deadlines

Don't let the holidays sweep you up and forget about the IFTSA Competition deadlines!




Heart Healthy Product Development Competition

Adriana Soto

December 5

Developing Solutions for Developing Countries

Diane Schmitt

January 15

IFTSA & Mars Product Development Competition

Ariel Buehler

February 1

Disney - IFTSA Product Development Competition

Kavita Solanki

February 15

Excellence in Leadership Award

Allison Atnip

March 1

Undergraduate Research Paper

Xi Chen

March 1

Chapter of the Year

David Bloom

May 1

College Bowl

Contact Area Rep


IFTSA has jumped on the blogging train!
If you haven’t checked out the official IFTSA blog, www.ScienceMeetsFood.org (SMF), you are certainly missing out! See what other clubs are up to, opportunities within IFTSA, and other random musings (think delicious recipes and food science-worthy news). If you have a topic you would like to see featured on SMF, let us know! You can e-mail Bethany Richardson, bcricha2@illinois.edu, with your post ideas.

Recruiting IFTSA’s Future Leaders
As the holiday season comes to a close, nominations and elections will open in January for the 2013-2014 IFTSA Board. Take some time to consider if this opportunity would be right for you.  Click here to explore the variety of options and decide if you (or someone you know) might be willing to take on a leadership role within IFTSA to help move the organization forward in the coming year.

California State Polytechnic University

Local Flare: Chapter & Club News
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
The Food Science Society at Cal Poly Pomona was recently involved in the College of Agriculture's 20th Pumpkin Festival where they sold delicious Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Poppers. In addition, they are gearing up for a mock College Bowl competition to prepare their student competitors for the real deal at the area meeting!

Oregon State University
OSU’s Food and Fermentation Science Club hosted an Oktoberfest celebration to welcome back students, faculty, and staff in the Food Science and Technology Department. This year, a record amount of the food came from the university.  The officers made the bratwurst and sauerkraut.  A professor in Crop Sciences made over 300 soft pretzels from scratch in his lab and the OSU Dairy plant donated cheese.

Louisiana State University
Louisiana State UniversityLSU has been very active, teaching food science to high school students during National Chemistry Week and planning for their Thanksmas Dinner, which is a volunteer opportunity that also serves as a time for fellowship and scholarship awarding. In addition, they are planning a trip to the USDA Research Center in New Orleans and will host a USDA representative at LSU to lead a professional development meeting for the club.

University of Massachusetts AmherstUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst
UMass has participated in two large volunteer events: “Science Quest” – teaching food science to high school kids and “Not Bread Alone” – preparing food for and eating with less fortunate at the local soup kitchen.  In addition, they have engaged their members in a Halloween social and a maple candy-making event!

North Carolina State UniversityNorth Carolina State University
NC State had a very successful annual fundraiser scooping ice cream at the State Fair! They have been involved in a number of activities from running in the Color Me Rad race to support Special Olympics to taking a group of students to their area meeting in Asheville. They also have six product development teams underway!

University of California, DavisUniversity of California, Davis
Five passionate graduate students at UC Davis recently created the Food Science Brewing Club to provide opportunities for students to gain experience in a brewing lab and generally promote interest in beer and brewing science.  The club recently held their first tasting, where participants were able to critically evaluate different beers as a means to learn about the brewing process.

University of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignUniversity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
The Food Science and Human Nutrition Graduate Student Association (FSHN GSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign hosted a record-breaking bake sale on Halloween and raised over $400 to support their club events. Some students donated baked goods, while others helped with the selling. Bring on the cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, and cranberry scones!

University of DelawareUniversity of Delaware
The University of Delaware's Food Science Club has been gearing up
for the holidays with lots and lots of sweet potatoes! After eight hours of washing, sorting, cooking, peeling, weighing out ingredients and everything in between, the club ended up with 98 sweet potato pies that were given out to families in need. 

What big plans does your food science club have for the coming year? Don’t forget to send in recaps of your events with pictures to Emily Wolter, emwolter2@gmail.com, for inclusion in the next Midnight Snack issue and on the blog, Science Meets Food!


Blueplate Specials: Opportunities for IFTSA Members

Love Food Science and Have a Knack for Writing?
You should join the Science Meets Food blogging team! The blog is growing steadily and we are in need of more contributors. Check out the blog at www.sciencemeetsfood.org. If writing posts seems like a good opportunity for you to get more involved with IFTSA, e-mail Emily Wolter (emwolter2@gmail.com) for more information on the responsibilities and next steps for making you an official author.

Love Trivia and Embrace the Title “Food Geek”?
You should compete in the 2013 IFTSA College Bowl Competition!  This team competition tests your knowledge in all the disciplines of food science from food chemistry to microbiology to product development and all the areas in between.  The competition occurs in two stages, with the first competition being at your area meeting in the spring. Then, the winners advance on to the finals at the IFT Annual Meeting held this year in Chicago, July 13-16, 2013. Please visit http://www.ift.org/Community/Students/Competitions/College-Bowl.aspx  for a complete list of rules. To get started, test your knowledge with the trivia below.

College Bowl Trivia

  1. What is the main flavor enhancing compound in shitake mushrooms?
  2. What are the 2 main carotenoids/coloring compounds in paprika?
  3. The Gibbs-Marangoni helps to explain what phenomenon?


  1. Guanosine monophosphate
  2. Capsanthin and capsorubin
  3. The stabilization of emulsions (more specifically, why emulsions are best stabilized by surfactants more soluble in the continuous phase).

Attention Recent/Upcoming Graduates
Do not let your FREE one year of transition membership pass you by. When the time comes to renew your IFT membership, you will see a statement under the “My Account” tab of ift.org that states “No Longer a Student? Click Here”. Your first year of IFT membership as an industry professional will be FREE!

FREE Webinar
Office Politics
December 6, 2012; 12:00 – 1:00 pm Central
As you start to think about your future, join this webcast to learn how to identify office politics and the best way to handle a political situation.  Kimberley Rawes, a career development professional and expert in this topic, will provide best practices for navigating office politics, suggestions on who to turn to for support if needed, and current trends that can have a positive impact on workplace culture.  This webcast is free to IFT members so register now.

Reena MistryIFT MEMBER PROFILE: Reena Mistry
Snapshot of your life now (employer, hobbies, where do you live, etc.)
I work for Daiya Foods, Inc. in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where I live. We produce vegan cheese alternatives that actually melt and stretch and are soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and peanut-free. I am working in the R&D department, which is fun and interesting because every day is different and there are always new challenges.

My hobbies include cooking and baking, of course. But I also recently learned to knit and have been enjoying that. As well, I recently got into anusara yoga because it’s very relaxing and calming, while being a great workout. 

2. Where did you attend college? I attended University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada for both my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Food Science.

3. How did you get interested in food science? 
I had always been interested in food since I was a teenager. I also became interested in chemistry in high school because of the amazing teacher I had who took his spare class prep time to teach me and another student advanced chemistry after I discovered my passion for it. I never knew until my 2nd year in university, after doing 2 years of prerequisites for pharmacy school, that I could combine my two interests. I always used to wonder when cooking what sort of reactions were going on when I would cut an apple or bake muffins. As soon as I learned that my university had a food science degree, I switched into it right away. After that, the rest was history

4. How did IFT/IFTSA help you in your transition from student to professional? IFT and IFTSA have given me a lot of opportunities for personal and professional development by allowing me to get involved, work in teams to accomplish common goals, provide me with tons of networking opportunities to connect with people in the industry, as well as help me find potential suppliers and ingredients for my job. 

5. Can you share any tips of success for students who might be entering the workforce for the first time? Be humble, even if you do know everything, because you probably don't. Be respectful. Be a sponge - learn as much as you can. And when starting out, take any door that opens to get your foot through it. Experience is still experience.


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