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Top foods? Think locusts and avocados

Top foods? Think locusts and avocados
Food Science students win two first prizes in prestigious international food development competition.

Two teams of Food Science students from McGill University won first prize in two separate categories in the highly competitive product development competitions at this year’s Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting held in July in Chicago.

The IFT Annual Meeting is one of the world’s largest gatherings of food science professionals, with more than 25,000 attendees and has long been considered the premiere event for Food Product Developers. McGill is the first Canadian university to win either of these competitions and the first university to win both competitions in the same year.

McGill’s TiraVerde product is a healthy snack inspired by the Italian dessert tiramisu. 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 fiber and protein.

The next step for members of the TiraVerde team will be to travel to Dalian, China in mid-October to take part in the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology’s Global Product Development Competition.

McGill food science students also won first prize in the Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition for a high-protein powder designed to feed Syrian refugees in the Middle East, who can transform it into traditional foods such as falafel or hummus.

Falamus Instant Mix combines locust flour and spices with pre-cooked chickpea, lentil and sesame flours to provide the refugees with many of the nutrients they need while at the same time meeting their dietary restrictions. The group has been working with fellow McGill students (the Aspire team who recently won the prestigious $1M Hult Prize) to source the locusts that are an essential part of their formula.

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