Newswise — CHICAGO—Food security and malnutrition are challenges around the world, but even more so in developing countries. Six food science student teams are facing these challenges head on as finalists in the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition. The competition, funded by Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) through a donation to Feeding Tomorrow, the Foundation of the Institute of Food Technologists, is designed to harness the passion and power of food science students to leverage food science to develop innovative products and processes to meet specific food, health and nutrition challenges in developing countries.
Now in its sixth year, the annual competition is open to graduate and undergraduate food science students around the world. Each year, a new theme is chosen that focuses on a specific food and nutrition challenge in the developing world. This year, students were challenged to use low-value oil processing by-products in commercial products for human consumption. Under this challenge, low-value by-products typically sold at a reduced price to the animal feed industry are re-imagined and repurposed in higher-value products designed to meet food and nutrition needs.
“Students play a key role in not only promoting global awareness of issues related to food availability, nutrition and health, but also have the energy and passion to explore the limitless opportunities to address these global food challenges,” said Jeff Dykstra, CEO of Partners in Food Solutions. “We are excited to continue our relationship with Feeding Tomorrow and IFT to explore opportunities to leverage food science – and food scientists – to address global food security issues.”
A total of 47 teams—the most ever—submitted entries this year. Two winning teams will be announced at the 2014 IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo® in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 21-24. The six finalist teams selected to compete in the competition finals include:
• Bogor Agricultural University, FLOYA Instant Porridge—a nutritious food packed with easily absorbed protein to combat protein malnutrition in Africa.
• Bogor Agricultural University, Soymuch—a high protein cookie from fermented-defatted soybean and sunflower meal added to cassava flour that’s packed with spices and sowed peanut crumb.
• Universiti Putra Malaysia, SunnySoy—a high protein-based instant noodle for people in the Africa region and other developing countries.
• California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Amma Mama’s—a sustainable sweet potato based, harvest flavored, high in protein and other nutrients tortilla that acts as a dietary staple and supplement for maternal and pregnant women in Chad, Africa.
• Cornell University, So-Sweet—a nutritious instant porridge made from a blend of sweet potato and defatted soy targeted to 6-to-24-month-old children in Sub-Saharan Africa.
• Rutgers University, Soy Sunsation—a convenient and highly nutritious breakfast meal with soybean and sunflower seeds to address protein and micronutrient deficiencies in specific Vitamin A and iron among malnourished African population.
“This competition provides students with a platform to address food security issues and leverage a holistic approach to address food system challenges,” said Robert Gravani, PhD, CFS, Chair of Feeding Tomorrow. “In doing so, we create an exchange of ideas, solutions, and a unified community of the next generation of food science leaders.”
For information about the 2013 competition winners, please visit
For more information about the 2014 IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo, please visit
About IFT and Feeding Tomorrow
Interdependent in purpose and passion, Feeding Tomorrow and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) make solutions possible by creating a dynamic global forum where food scientists from more than 100 countries explore how food science can drive innovation and solutions for the complex challenges facing our global food system. We believe that scientific discoveries in food science hold the key to technological advances, that—when applied—will help to solve food security issues like reducing post-harvest loss, the impact of climate change on the food system, and sustainability. We are also creating programs and initiatives to build and grow the next generation of world-renowned leaders who will use food science to address these problems. We know that food science is the essential ingredient for feeding the world. For more information, please visit ift.org and feedingtomorrow.org.
About Partners in Food Solutions
Partners in Food Solutions (PFS), is a nonprofit organization that links the business and technical expertise of employee volunteers from leading food companies (General Mills, Cargill, DSM and Bühler) with small and growing mills and food processors in the developing world. Our goal is to help improve the abilities of those companies to produce high quality, nutritious and safe food at affordable prices, and to increase the demand for the crops from smallholder farmers who supply those businesses. PFS collaborates closely with TechnoServe, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and social investment funds like Root Capital.