Food In Canada

CIFST honours food science professionals, celebrates student achievements

By Food in Canada Staff   

Food In Canada CIFST

The 56th CIFST national conference welcomed delegates to RBC Place in London, Ont., for three days of education, networking and two student competitions between June 7 to 9. Awards for the Three Minute Thesis (3MT), the Marvin Tung Student Case Competition and the Institute Awards were distributed at the conference.

On June 7, five student finalists from universities across Canada competed in the second annual CIFST Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, an opportunity for graduate students to showcase their research and its significance to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less.

The competition was chaired by Dr. Marcia English, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Maleeka Singh, a Ph.D. candidate in Food Science from the University of Guelph was named winner of the 3MT. Maleeka is also the recipient of the People’s Choice Award selected by an audience ballot following the students’ presentations. Sara García Vela, a Ph.D. candidate cotutelle between Université Laval and University of La Rioja was named second runner-up. All three wins included a cash prize.

Following the 3MT competition, four finalist teams from universities across Canada presented their cases to a panel of judges as part of the second annual Marvin Tung Student Case Competition. The purpose of the competition is to provide emerging professionals with an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills and learn from each other through the analysis of a food sector case study.


The competition was chaired by Dr. Yvonne Yuan, Associate Professor in the School of Nutrition, Faculty of Community Services at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) and Chair of the CIFST Canadian Food Summit. Team M&Ms was awarded the Marvin Tung Trophy and a cash prize. The winning team included teammates from Toronto Metropolitan University, Marissa Frodsham; Mackenzie Green; and Sarujen Nagarajan. Their case encompassed upcycling brewer spent grain waste into a frozen plant-based pizza. This is the second year that Team M&Ms has competed in this competition. Last year, the winning team was Team Cream of the Crop, also from TMU.

At the conference, five industry awards were handed out by CIFST president Louis Ayotte. An annual event, the CIFST Institute Awards recognize the significant contributions of dedicated food science professionals working across Canada. Two awards were presented in person: Navneet Navneet, Ph.D. Candidate from the University of Guelph and CIFST Student Committee Vice-Chair accepted the Student Leadership Award and Brad McKay, McKay Consulting and past president accepted the Emeritus Award. This award bestows an honorary title upon a member who has retired from his or her vocation and who, in the course of their career, has contributed meritorious service to the food industry and the CIFST.

Two other awards were accepted by video: The Food Innovation Award was awarded to Dr. Maneka Malalgoda from the University of Manitoba while the President’s Award was awarded to CIFST past president Belinda Elysée-Collen of Dempsey Food. This is the second time Elysée-Collen has been given the discretionary award. Louis Ayotte accepted the Institute Award on behalf of Jennifer Ward of Barry Callebaut, awarded to an individual professional or retired member for outstanding contribution to CIFST.

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