Explore as a

Share our content

2019 NZIFST CREST Challenge

A food innovation challenge!



Partial view of the 2018 Auckland judging event.


The NZIFST CREST Food Innovation Challenge, previously known as the NZIFST/CREST Student Product Development Challenge, is run by the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST), in partnership with CREST, the nationwide awards scheme administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

It challenges teams of senior secondary school students to develop a consumer food product, following the principles of food product development as used in the food industry. 2019 will be the eleventh year we have run the Challenge.

The Challenge involves collaboration between NZIFST, CREST, Massey's School of Food and Advanced Technology, the Department of Food Science at the University of Otago, and the food processing industry. 

It is designed to introduce secondary students to the exciting world of food product development and career options in food science, technology and engineering.

 Product development investigations are based on the Team Silver Challenge CREST project framework, and students successfully completing a project receive a Team Silver Challenge CREST Award.

Teams must comprise 2 – 4 students, from any of Years 11 - 13.

Where possible, teams should be multi-disciplinary, including both science and technology students.

Supervising teachers are encouraged to work in pairs and be multi-disciplinary too.

Dependent on the year level, the Challenge could be offered as part of a course/classroom programme, could be viewed as project based learning as well as being assessed for NCEA credits in processing technology. It could also be offered as an extension project for science, technology or integrated science/technology students.

Each team receives technical support from a local food company, with staff taking time out of work to mentor the students and help guide them through their product development projects. The mentor provides the team with a project brief, relevant to the mentor’s area of expertise.

In the past, many of the teams have visited their mentors at work, used their laboratories or toured their processing plants.

NZIFST members offer additional support, for example, samples of specialised ingredients and information about how to use them.

Each team also receives sponsorship from the food industry, to contribute to the costs incurred from participating in the Challenge. 

Students who successfully complete the Challenge, and meet the required standards ,will be eligible to receive the Team Silver Challenge CREST award.

Assuming  there is sufficient interest from schools, staff from Massey and Otago universities will provide professional development for the supervising teachers in April 2019, to help them guide their students through the Challenge.

Have a look at the  profiles and posters from previous years’ projects.

The Challenge will start in February 2019 and finish with a judging event in late September 2019.

For more information contact crest@royalsociety.org.nz