Food Science


The Food Science and Technology career development event is designed to promote learning activities in food science and technology related to the food industry and to assist students in developing practical knowledge of principles used in a team decision-making process.


  1. To encourage FFA members to gain an awareness of career and professional opportunities in the field of food science and technology.
  2. To provide FFA members with the opportunity to experience group participation and leadership responsibilities in a competitive food science and technology program.
  3. To help FFA members develop technical competence and personal initiative in a food science and technology occupation.


Sara Roberts
Student Services Coordinator
Department of Food Science and Technology
1901 North 21st St., Room 223
Lincoln, NE 68588-6205

Event Information

No electronic media allowed including but not limited to cell phones, and cameras

The Food Science and Technology CDE requires students to have an in-depth understanding of food product development and presentation, understanding of basic nutrition principles, and food safety issues.

  1. The Food Science and Technology CDE will consist of four activities: a team product development project, an objective test, a food safety practicum and a sensory evaluation practicum.
  2. All team members will participate in all of the activities. There will be a possible 1,400 total points per team. The team product development project will be worth 400 points per team, the objective test will be worth 150 points per individual and each of the two practicums will be worth 50 points per individual.  The total for each individual will be 250 points.

Required Supplies

Each participant must provide:

  • Two sharpened No. 2 pencils
  • Non-programmable calculator
  • Colored pencils recommended

NOTE:     Allergy Information

Food products used in this event may contain or come in contact with potential allergens. Advisors must submit a special needs request to the event superintendent(s) for participants with any allergies. The event committee will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate students with food allergies.

Competition- 4 parts:

1.   Team Product Development Project:
a. Each team will receive a product development scenario describing the need for a new or redesigned product that appeals to a potential market segment. The team's task will be to conceptualize a design for the product based on information contained within the product development scenario.

b. The team will fill out team worksheets:
 (I) An ingredient statement to meet scenario requirements.
 (II) Draw a Principal Display Panel (PDP) that shows package design and labeling          requirements.
 (III) Correctly place the elements of the Information Panel (IP), including the calculation of   a Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP).
 (IV) Incorporate team knowledge by answering essay questions including elements of:

  • Production and packaging equipment.
  • Quality control and safety programs, i.e., good manufacturing practices (GMP) and hazard analysis critical control  points (HACCP).
  • Formulation and costing (ingredient, packaging, etc.).
  • Food safety.
  • Allergens.
  • Current food trends.
  • Market segments.

(V). The team will have 60 minutes to complete the worksheets.

Team Product Development Project
CategoriesPlatformMarket (domestic and international)
Cereal Frozen Retail
Snacks Refrigerated Wholesale
Meals Shelf-stable Food service
Side dishes Convenience Convenience store
Beverages Ready to eat
Supplements Heat and serve

c. Examples of scenario product from past events:
    a. Ready to eat breakfast cereal for retail
    b. Refrigerated frozen cookie dough for wholesale
    c. Yogurt parfait for convenience store
    d. Refrigerated, heat and serve pizza for retail
    e. Shelf stable, dried fruit snack mix for retail

 2. Objective Multiple Choice Test - Paper Exam - 150 points

  • Basic principles of food science and technology.
  • Each person will have 30 minutes to complete the 50 questions. Each question will be worth 3 points, for a total of 150 points.

3. Food Safety and Quality Pictures/ Customer Inquiry Practicum- 50 points

A. Food Safety & Quality Pictures

  • A PowerPoint presentation with pictures of five to ten situations will be shown for 90 seconds each.
  • A numbered list of problems will be provided at the beginning of this practicum segment.
  • The list will contain concepts such as good manufacturing practices (GMP), sanitation, food handling/storage and other pre-requisite programs.
  • Participants will identify if there is a violation presented in the situation.
  • If participants decide that there is a violation (2 points), they will indicate the number of the violation (3 points) from the list of problems provided (5 points per picture total.)

Food Safety Test and List PDF

B. Customer Inquiry:

Each participant will be given up to five scenarios representing general consumer inquiries. Participants must determine if the consumer inquiry reflects a quality or safety issue (two points per scenario) and determine if it is a biological, chemical or physical concern or hazard (three points per scenario). This is for a total of 25 points.

Food Science Customer Inquiry Rubric PDF

4. Sensory Evaluation Practicum- 50 points

  • Triangle Tests- Identify the different samples through flavor, aroma, visual cues and/or textural differences. (2 triangle tests 10 points each.  20 points total)
  • Aromas- Identify 6 aromas from vials. A list of potential aromas will be provided. 5 points for each correct aroma identified, 3 points for aromas that are incorrect, but close. (30 points)

Sensory Evaluation
Cinnamon Chocolate Maple
Oregano Basil Lemon
Lime Orange Vanilla
Smoke (liquid) Cherry Apple
Onion Butter Coffee
Grape Garlic Peppermint
Clove Nutmeg Ginger
Molasses Wintergreen Banana
Coconut Peach Raspberry
Strawberry Licorice (anise) Sage

SectionTime AllowedTotal Points
Objective Multiple Choice Test 30 minutes 150
Food Safety Practicum 25 minutes 50

Sensory Evaluation 

  • Triangle Tests
  • Aromas
25 minutes 50
Total Individual Points 250 x 4 team members
Team Product Development 60 minutes 400
Total Team Points 1400

Individual scores are a total of the Objective Multiple Choice Test, Food Safety Practicum, and Sensory Evaluation sections. Team scores are a total of all team members' individual scores plus the Product Development team activity.

Score Summary:

Team:   product development.....400 points


  • Food Safety....50 points
  • Exam.............150 points
  • Sensory...........50 points

Individual Score:   food safety + exam + sensory
Team:   sum of 4 individual scores + team activity


1.  Team:  Should a tie occur in the overall team placing, the tie will be broken by the highest team product development project score. If this score does not break the tie, then the highest number of total points earned from the objective multiple choice test (adding all four team member scores) will break the tie. If a third tiebreaker is needed, the total points earned by the team in the food safety practicum will be used.

2.  Individual:  To identify the high individual for this event in case of a tie, the highest objective multiple test score will be used as the first tiebreaker, followed by the highest food safety practicum score as the second tiebreaker.


References/Study Information

Food Science 2017 Professional Development Webinar

Food Science CDE Training June 2017 (Power Point download)

Samples for Teachers from past State CDEs:

Product Development Scenario 2015, Ingredient Nutrients FFA 2015

2015 Worksheet  (Excel download)

Ingredient Nutrients 2015  (Excel download)

Aroma Samples
AgEd Toolbox
Julie Milligan
P.O. Box 29
Perry, OK  73077

Recommended Websites

Test Banks:

Product Development/Sensory

Food Safety Test

Most Helpful FDA website:

Other - Sign up for periodic updates from FDA on food safety, nutrition. Link to sign up is at bottom of page. - IFT High School Curriculum - Food Chemistry - Food Labeling Guidance Document