“What should our hashtag be this year?” “#ChapmanIFT2015″? “#IFT2015″? “#ChapmanDoesChicago”? This is the question students ask each other as we get prepared for the annual “Food Convention” as I like to call it.  This past July,
Chapman University’s
food science graduate students and faculty attended the 
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
Meeting and Expo in Chicago. This is a worldwide event, bringing together over 20,000 food professionals in industry and government along with faculty and students from college and universities to exchange knowledge and ideas of “where science feeds innovation,” the theme of this year’s event. IFT offered over a hundred sessions, which included
“Limiting in the American Diet: Calcium, Dietary Fiber, Potassium, Vitamins E and D. Why?”
“Emerging Biocontrol Strategies for Food Safety.”
We also engaged in relevant topics, research, and products surrounding food science. In addition, IFT was a terrific opportunity for us to reunite with our alumni and greet our new incoming students as our
Food Science and Nutrition Student Association (FSNSA)
coordinated an alumni dinner welcoming 40 people!

Food Science posters

Karina Rodriguez (Class of 2015). Winner of the Fruit and Vegetable Products Division.

Muscle Foods poster for Food Science

Dawn Kane (Class of 2015) presenting her research in the Muscle Foods Division. Her work has recently been published by Food Control.

Aside from attending great workshops and building strong relationships, Chapman University students presented their thesis work and participated in poster and oral competitions, representing our university well, as several of our students placed! Karina Rodriguez (Class of 2015) brought home first place in the Fruit and Vegetable Products Division with her poster on the
Effects of Commercial Irradiation and Methyl Bromide Fumigation on the Quality of Blueberries Shipped from Georgia to California
. Charles Quinto (Class of 2015) earned second place in the Muscle Foods Division with his poster on
Identification of Species in Commercially Sold Game Meats Using DNA Barcoding
. Tushar Sawant (Class of 2015) was a finalist in the Food Microbiology Graduate Student Oral Competition for his presentation titled
Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Listeria monocytogenes to Bacteriophage P100 in Alfalfa Sprouts (Medicago sativa
). We are very proud of our students as these results are evident that Chapman’s food science program has earned a reputable academic place in the world of food science.

Charles Quinto. Second place winner of a poster competition!

Charles Quinto (Class of 2015). Second place winner of the Muscle Foods Division poster competition.

Tushar Sawant (Class of 2015). Finalist in the Food Microbiology Graduate Student Oral Competition.

Tushar Sawant (Class of 2015). Finalist in the Food Microbiology Graduate Student Oral Competition.

Group of Food Science students

IFT 2015 Chapman University College Bowl Team: Tushar Sawant, Karina Rodriguez, Maria Meza, Shweta Birwadkar, Alexa Sarcona, and Jessica Sambuco (team captain)

As knowledge was being shared and competitions were being conducted at IFT, Chapman University’s college bowl team, current Mountain West Regional champions of IFT
College Bowl
for nine years in a row, competed in the national competition with universities that included Cornell, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Texas A&M and UC Davis. In the form of a Jeopardy-like food science themed game, Chapman faced universities with Ph.D. programs, and it was a fierce battle. Although Chapman did not place, we are proud of our team for their tenacious efforts in positioning Chapman University on the national map.

Food Science students getting Indian food

Food Science students at dinner

Attending IFT is a reminder that when you combine your passion for food and intrigue for science, (or maybe it’s the other way around) you forge a pathway of innovative food science discoveries with others who are just as passionate as you are. We evidently saw this impact at IFT.