IFT and Disney Collaborate to Fuel Youth Interest in Food Science RELEASED AT THE 2011 IFT ANNUAL MEETING & FOOD EXPO

June 14, 2011

NEW ORLEANS – The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and Disney Consumer Products (DCP) are collaborating to raise the visibility of food science careers and the innovative potential of the profession to develop healthy and nutritious foods.

The IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans, the largest show of its kind focusing on both the science and business of food, was the venue for Disney and IFT to announce the winners of a college competition designed to create healthy snacks for kids.  Thousands in attendance also had a chance to see the debut of a “Day in the Life of a Food Scientist” video that captured a snapshot of what it is actually like to be food scientist at Disney. 

Disney--IFTSA Nutritious Food for Kids Competition
Twenty-one student teams from across the country submitted proposals for the Disney-IFT Student Association, which challenged college students in food science degree programs to create delicious and nutritious snacks for kids. Now in its third year, the annual competition is open to graduate and undergraduate students in food science and nutrition programs throughout North America. All entries focus on snack food or beverage product concepts for a retail outlet that are geared toward children age 12 and younger and inspired by Disney characters. The product must integrate a fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy product and/or whole grains.

IFT11 Disney Competition Grand Prize Winner, University of Wisconsin – Madison for Pixie Dust Fruit Beverage Mix
IFT11 Disney Competition Grand Prize Winner, University of Wisconsin – Madison for Pixie Dust Fruit Beverage Mix

Six finalist teams were selected to compete in the competition finals at the IFT 2011 Annual Meeting & Food Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 11-14. The Grand Prize went to University of Wisconsin – Madison for Pixie Dust Fruit Beverage Mix, a combination of raspberry and apple fruit powders in an easy open-and-pour package. First Place Prize went to University of Arkansas for Phenomenal Funchies, a hand-held, baked snack filled with dried fruits including berries, mango and banana.

“Day in the Life of a Food Scientist” Disney Video
In a video featuring food scientists from around the world, DCP highlights the interesting and unexpected food science opportunities available in the licensing industry. Whether providing input on creative product packaging development or working with licensees and the nutritional guidelines, food scientists at DCP use their unique backgrounds and training to work with licensees that provide delicious and fun foods to kids and families to promote a healthier lifestyle.   

“DCP understands the challenges faced by parents in regard to their family's nutrition and wants to be part of the solution.  DCP licenses best-in-class food manufacturers to develop and market products that meet DCPs nutritional guidelines,” said Embola Ndi, PhD, Vice President, Food, Health & Beauty, North America and Global Product Development at DCP.

To view the video, please click on the following link: www.ift.org/video.

This video is included in IFT’s "Day in the Life of a Food Scientist" series designed to educate students, teachers, the media, and the general public about the positive impact and rewards of the food science and technology profession. The video series is part of a broader effort to get students more interested in food science by letting IFT food scientists in academia, government and industry tell their unique story in their own words. IFT launched the Day in the Life of Food Scientist program last year with a unique video that followed IFT member Michele Perchonek, Advanced Food Technology Manager at NASA.  The video followed Perchonok and her team in Houston, Texas, as they carried out their work on the Space Food Systems Laboratory, with the ultimate goal of ensuring astronauts have enough food on future missions to Mars.


About IFT

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society. Our individual members are professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT's mission is to advance the science of food, and our long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply, contributing to healthier people everywhere.

For more than 70 years, the IFT has been unlocking the potential of the food science community by creating a dynamic global forum where members from more than 100 countries can share, learn, and grow. We champion the use of sound science across the food value chain through the exchange of knowledge, by providing education, and by furthering the advancement of the profession. IFT has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit ift.org.

About Disney Consumer Products

Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and its affiliates that extends the Disney brand to merchandise ranging from apparel, toys, home décor and books and magazines to foods and beverages, stationery, electronics and fine art. This is accomplished through DCP's various lines of business which include: Disney Toys, Disney Fashion & Home and Disney Food, Health & Beauty. Other businesses involved in Disney's consumer products sales are Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines, and www.DisneyStore.com and www.DisneyStore.co.uk, the company's official shopping portals. The Disney Stores retail chain, which debuted in 1987, is owned and operated by Disney in North America, Europe, and Japan. For more information, please visit www.disneyconsumerproducts.com or follow us at www.youtube.com/disneyliving, www.facebook.com/disneyliving and www.twitter.com/disneyliving.

© 2011 Institute of Food Technologists


Mindy Weinstein

Kate Greenberg

Disney & IFT: Making Food Fun