First Place Team of IFTSA & MARS PD Comp to Compete in CHINA!

BIG NEWS IFTSA: The 1st place team of the 2014-2015 IFTSA & MARS Product Development Competition will advance to compete in a ‘Competition of Champions’ style product development competition in conjunction with the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST)!  CIFST is one of the leading scientific societies consisting of members in food science, food technology and related professions in industry, academia, and government.  Their bi-annual conference is highly attended by students, with a number of different networking and scientific events in both Chinese and English.



This competition, known as the CIFST/IFT Global Product Development Competition, will take place at the CIFST Food Summit during the week of October 19, 2015 in Dalian, China.  The 1st place team will present their winning product concept, (i.e. the same product they won the MARS competition with) in a single round consisting of a final paper, oral, and poster presentation, very similar to what was previously completed during the final round of the MARS competition.  Please note that this is a separate competition from the IFTSA & MARS competition, but teams must submit to the IFTSA & MARS competition to be eligible.


As I stated in my introductory blog post, a major focus for IFTSA has been becoming more global.  Becoming global will provide unique opportunities for our students, such as international networking opportunities and the potential to compete against other food science students.  IFTSA recently teamed up with CIFST to put together this joint PD competition.  CIFST hosts four product development competitions on a yearly basis within their organization, somewhat similar to competitions hosted by IFTSA.  CIFST will select winners of these four competitions to move on and compete in the CIFST/IFT Global Product Development Competition.  This competition is currently still in its planning stages and more info will be released as it is confirmed.  Due to the unprecedented nature of this competition, this will be a pilot year, with hopes to continue/expand the competition in the future.

Competition Logistics

The 1st place team of the IFTSA & MARS competition will be asked to select three team members to receive full funding (visa, travel, lodging, conference registration, etc) to attend the CIFST Food Summit in Dalian, China and represent IFTSA and their team throughout the competition.  Teams are encouraged to bring other team members and advisors, but the team/individual will be responsible for any additional funds relating to those travels.  Attendees funded through IFTSA are expected to actively participate in the conference outside of the competition.  CIFST will select between two and four teams, each representing their different product development competitions.  Teams will be asked to submit a final paper outlining their product (estimated due date, September 1, 2015).  Specific requirements of the paper are currently being finalized and will be announced shortly (but will be very similar to what must be submitted to the IFTSA & MARS competition).

At the CIFST Food Summit, teams will present their product orally, followed by a Q&A session, and a poster presentation.  All portions of this competition will be conducted in English.  Judging will be based on, but not limited to, overall innovation, how well the product fit the original competition, marketability in the target market the product is meant for, and technical challenges.  Further details of the competition will be announced shortly.

THERE IS STILL TIME! Get your submission ready for the IFTSA & MARS Product Development Competition, due February 1, 2015, and you never know, you might be traveling to compete in China this fall!  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Maddy Levin, current IFTSA & MARS PD Competition Chair ( or myself via any of the means below.  Again, more details will be coming shortly.


All the best,

Jay Gilbert

2014-2015 IFTSA President
Twitter: @JayTGilbert

Science Meets Food

The IFT Student Association (IFTSA) is a forward-looking, student-governed community of IFT members. Through competitions, scholarships, networking, and leadership opportunities, you’ll set yourself apart from your classmates (unless they’re members too).

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