Food Science in Action

Journal of Food Science Education

The Journal of Food Science Education (JFSE) aims to develop a rich video library of foundational food science resources for K-12 STEM educators. Studies show that children who learn about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields early in school tend to pursue these fields as their profession. Consumers in general have a lot of questions and misconceptions about food science, and educators have limited time to teach students how to decipher scientifically-based facts from hype. Therefore, videos can be a great teaching tool in today’s classroom, enhancing an educator’s repertoire by engaging students visually to show them how food science and technology work.

Food Science In Action

Congratulations to the 2017 Winners!

Theme: FSI: Food Science Investigation

1st Place: “Food Science Investigation - The Mystery of The Flabby Pizza” by Amadeus Driando Ahnan, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst, Food Science Dept.

2nd Place: “Why Did My Avocado Turn Brown?” by Marta Albiol Tapia, Ramon Marcelo Moloni, Xueqian Shi, and Luis Alfonso Vargas Lopez, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition

3rd Place: “All That and a Bag of Chips” by Michael Freund, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst

View all of the accepted submissions from 2015, 2016, and 2017:

The 2017 contest is closed. Check back in September for next year's contest.

About the Competition

2017 Theme: FSI: Food Science Investigation
Have you ever had a friend say to you, "I got sick last night, do you think it could have been food poisoning?" Or have you ever wondered why all of those chemicals are in your food? How a seemingly simple change in ingredients or processing can result in a major reduction in product quality or make the product unsafe to eat?

Put on your detective hat and show us your best food science investigation skills to get to the bottom of a mystery! For example, what causes potato chips to lose their crispness once the package is opened? How can people with a foodborne illness determine which food made them sick? Which ingredients can help protein bars remain soft and chewy? What can be added to a cheese spread so that it is shelf-stable at room temperature and safe to eat?

In a 1 to 5 minute video, investigate a food science “mystery” using facts to show students real examples of Food Science in Action. Videos may be live action, animation, or a combination.

Aim your video to the education level of one of these 3 audience categories:

  • Elementary School (K–5)
  • Middle School (6–8)
  • High School & Beyond (9–12, Higher Education)

Submit Your Video

Check out our submission guidelines, criteria, and tips for creating a video below. If you need additional assistance, contact Amanda Ferguson at

Submissions must be received by Monday, April 10th, 2017.
Download a submission form, complete, and upload with your video.

Upload My Submission Form & Video

Criteria for Submissions

Videos should be 1–5 minutes in length and demonstrate a fact-based based investigation to solve a “mystery” about food or food science.

Creativity: Video submissions should use creative and original approaches to convey the message.

Tone: Video submissions should be creative, fun, entertaining, and portray food science in a positive manner.

Production Quality: 1) Audio quality – dialogue should be easy to understand. 2) Visual quality – visual effects should enhance the message. 3) Editing should be smooth and coherent.

Accuracy: Video content must be scientifically accurate.

Other criteria:

  • Both individual member and team submissions are permitted. Team videos should be submitted only once, and by one member of the team. There is no limit on the number of submissions per team or individual.
  • For students creating and submitting videos, faculty input is encouraged.
  • Videos should be newly created for the contest, not previously published online.
  • Complete and upload a submission form with background information about you and your video.
  • Entries may not include unsuitable content; obscenity; disparagement; defamation; pornography; harassment; racial, ethnic, or sexual slurs; other offensive conduct or material, or otherwise include inappropriate or unlawful content, at IFT's discretion.
  • Any content sourced from existing materials (i.e., not created by the submitter) must follow copyright laws.
  • By participating in the competition, you fully and unconditionally agree to and accept these rules and the decisions of IFT, which are final and binding in all matters related to the competition. Whether or not you receive a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth in these rules. The competition is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and is void where prohibited by law. Videos will not be judged if any of the above eligibility criteria are not met.

Judging and Prizes

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of JFSE Editors for scientific accuracy and basic quality standards. Accepted videos will be posted to IFT's YouTube channel.

A panel of judges, comprised of JFSE Editorial Board members and communications professionals will review and choose the top three (3) videos based on the criteria above. The winners will be announced on Monday, April 24th, 2017.

First Prize: $1,000 and recognition at IFT17
Second Prize: $500 and mention at IFT17
Third Prize: $250 and mention at IFT17


You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless IFT and its employees, directors, and agents as to any claims relating to the submission or use of the submission of the videos submitted.

IFT and its employees, officers, directors, agents, contractors, representatives, affiliates, divisions, sections, and/or advertising/promotion agencies (the "Released Parties") shall not assume any responsibility whatsoever for any of the following: delayed, failed, partial or garbled computer transmissions; technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to, lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, internet, or other connections; the availability, accessibility, technical failure or miscommunication of computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions; the incorrect or inaccurate capture or failure to capture information whether caused by YouTube or YouTube users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the competition; errors of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, network or otherwise arising out of or relating to the competition; theft, loss, destruction or damage to an Entry in whole or in part; and other factors beyond their reasonable control. The Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to your or to any other person&rsquos computer related to or resulting from participating in the competition.

Except where prohibited, all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these rules, or the rights and obligations of the participant and IFT in connection with the competition, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Illinois, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Illinois, or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Illinois. The venue for any dispute arising under these Rules shall be the state or federal courts located in Chicago, Illinois.

All videos submitted shall remain your property, but by entering the contest, you grant the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) irrevocable and perpetual royalty-free consent to reproduce, distribute, adapt, modify, or use your submission for promotional purposes. By submitting a video, you consent to allow IFT to use all or part of your submission in any form and media, including, but not limited to, the IFT website, YouTube, electronic media, audio and/or video, and waive any right to approve such distribution. By entering this contest, you and any other people featured in the video agree to all terms listed above and that your video may be used at the discretion of IFT.