Aug. 2, 2021 – CHICAGO – The Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) recognized more than 20 student groups from around the globe as winners of the 2021 IFTSA competitions. IFT announced the winners virtually at FIRST, IFT’s newly reimagined annual event.


Competitions range from creating viable food products for underserved populations to producing multimedia content to educate and inspire. Students competed individually or on teams in a variety of categories that aim to advance the study and profession of the science of food.

Chapter of the Year 
The Chapter of the Year Award honors one university student organization for exceptional participation, strong leadership, community outreach and providing opportunities that utilize the talents of all their members. This competition also honors an outstanding chapter in each of the following promise areas: Connect, Develop, and Support.

2021 IFTSA Chapter of the Year: North Carolina State University

  • Connect Award - Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral 
  • Support Award - The Ohio State University 
  • Develop Award - Purdue University  

College Bowl Competition 
Since 1985, the IFTSA College Bowl Competition has tested the knowledge of student teams from across the United States in the areas of food science and technology, history of foods and food processing, food law, and general IFT/food-related trivia. The College Bowl is designed to facilitate interaction among students from different universities, stimulate the students' desire to accumulate and retain knowledge, and provide a forum for students to engage in friendly competition. Teams for IFT Student Chapters in eight geographical areas of the Student Association competed in area competitions prior to the IFT Annual Meeting. The winning teams from the eight areas competed virtually in a final competition at FIRST.

  • First Place: Cornell University
  • Second Place: University of Maryland

Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition 
The IFTSA Developing Solutions for Developing Countries competition promotes the application of food science and technology and the development of new products and processes that are targeted at improving the quality of life for people in developing countries. 

  • First Place: Hodari, University of Costa Rica
  • Second Place: Ngebut Team, Bogor University
  • Third Place: Miflo, AgroParisTech

Smart Snacks for Kids Product Development Competition 
The IFTSA Smart Snacks for Kids Competition challenges students to develop a fun and nutritious food or beverage product targeted at kids and/or teens. Products must abide by the USDA “Guide to Smart Snacks in Schools” recommendations (specific information can be found here:  

  • First place - Stickodips from University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • Second place - Nodding Bear from McGill University
  • Third place - Little Sprouts from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona 

Excellence in Leadership Awards 
The Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes two student members of IFT, one undergraduate and one graduate student, who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in their execution of student activities that furthers the mission of IFT. 

  • Undergraduate Award – Philip Eberly, The Ohio State University 
  • Graduate Award – Jennifer Vuia-Riser, University of Tennessee

The 31st Annual IFTSA & MARS Product Development Competition 
The 31st Annual IFT Student Association & MARS Product Development Competition is a chance for students to take the skills and knowledge learned in school and apply them to a real-world situation. Each participating school's team develops a new food idea and carries the concept through marketing and production, much like a commercial product development team.  

  • First Place: Cornell University, Tofumisu
  • Second Place: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, SpecialTea Sauce
  • Third Place: University of Wisconsin, Madison, NADAS

IFTSA Graduate Research Video Competition 
This competition, developed by Camden BRI and IFTSA, invited graduate students to submit their research in a concise, creative three-minute video. The winner will have the opportunity to visit Camden BRI in the United Kingdom to experience each of the major divisions within Campden BRI (science, technology, brewing, and knowledge management) focusing on the most relevant areas of their area of study. 

  • Winner: Grace Dewi, University of Minnesota
  • Runner Up: Sumedha Garg, Montana State University

Undergraduate Research Competition
The Undergraduate Research Competition, sponsored by Phi Tau Sigma, is designed to encourage and stimulate interest in undergraduate research in food science and technology, provide an opportunity for food science undergraduates to organize and present their original work, and provide a venue for networking within IFTSA for undergraduate students as well as members of industry and academia. 

  • First Place: Diana Karajeh, The Ohio State University
  • Second Place: Alton Chambers, Alabama A&M
  • Third Place: Katherine Lobeda, Virginia Tech
IFT20 Chicago IL
Join Us In Chicago right arrow
FIRST is one of the largest events of its kind bringing together science of food professionals from around the globe representing all segments of the food profession—research and design, ingredients, safety and quality, technology, equipment, processing, packaging, manufacturing, suppliers and buyers, policy makers, and academics—all converging with the intention to inspire and transform collective knowledge into innovative solutions to help advance our planet’s food safety, nutrition, and sustainability.