Montreal – At the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)’s annual meeting and expo food science students can enter some competitive competitions.
This year two Canadian food science teams from McGill University did and each won first prize in two separate categories in the product development competition.
This makes the school the first Canadian university to win either of these competitions and the first university to win both competitions in the same year.
Feel like tiramisu with avocado?
One of the McGill food science teams, TiraVerde, turned the popular Italian dessert into a healthy snack. Layers of avocado-based cream are layered with a ladyfinger-like cake to create a dessert that is gluten-free, low in unhealthy fats and cholesterol, and high in fibre and protein.
After winning at IFT15, the TiraVerde team is heading to China in mid-October to take part in the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology’s Global Product Development Competition.
The McGill food science team won first in the Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition for a high-protein powder designed to feed Syrian refugees in the Middle East, who can use the powder to make traditional foods such as falafel and hummus.
Called Falamus Instant Mix, the mix combines locust flour and spices with pre-cooked chickpea, lentils and sesame flours to provide the refugees with many of the nutrients they need while at the same time meeting their dietary restrictions.
This group has been working with fellow McGill students to source the locusts.
Both competitions at IFT involve designing and developing a new food product from concept stage through commercialization.
The university says the students had to demonstrate and validate their product’s nutritional value, product integrity, manufacturing processes, food safety, shelf-life sustainability, packaging, price-value and consumer acceptance.
The ideas for the products and their development started in the food product development course at the university, which is taught by Salwa Karboune, an associate professor of Food Science in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.