The Maple Innovation Challenge

Welcome to The Maple Innovation Challenge!

Update: Congratulations to the winners!

1st Place
Team Novaland, University of Guelph
Chickpea Pancake Mix
Yuchen Bai and Arianna Sultani

2nd Place
Team Taco Belles, McGill University
Hot Chocolate Mix
Veronica Jaramillo and Priscilla Leftakis

3rd Place
Team Maple Madness, Toronto Metropolitan University
Maplelicious Bites
Tina Farokhifar, Stephanie Boissonneault and Aliza Hunt


ROUND 2: Finalist teams were notified on November 11th. A maple starter kit has been sent to each of the teams to begin creating their shelf-stable innovation. Each group must prepare a brochure, spec sheet and nutritional data along with the creation.

Here are the Five Finalist teams that will proceed to the next round of judging:

Team Cold Noodle
Maple Pomelo Tea / Jelly
McGill University: Jinyu Zhou, Zijing Yu, Xinyi Liu, Xiyuan Shang, Simin Tan

Team The Golden Bar
Lemon Bars
McGill University: Wayne Sawka, Sky Castaing, Anas AlHouran

Team Maple Madness
Maplelicious Bites
Toronto Metropolitan University: Tina Farokhifar, Stephanie Boissonneault, Aliza Hunt

Team NovaLand
Chickpea Pancake Mix
University of Guelph: Yuchen Bai, Arriana Sultani

Team Taco Belles
Hot Chocolate Mix
McGill University: Veronica Jaramillo, Priscilla Leftakis

Competition Details
This contest is open to CIFST student members enrolled in Food science and Culinary Arts programs at Canadian institutions.

Round 1
Students representing the same school will work in groups of 3-5 to create an idea for a finished good that incorporates maple flakes and/or maple sugar. The group will submit their ideas through video via Instagram #mapleinnovationchallenge. Video submissions will be accepted starting Friday September 16th until October 21, 2022 midnight EST. A written submission must be entered through
as well. Videos will be evaluated for interest level and the originality of the idea. The initial submission doesn’t need to include the finished good, but the team should describe the innovation.
Round 2
Groups that qualify for the 2nd round will be notified by November 2nd and a maple starter kit will be sent. Each group must prepare a brochure, spec sheet and nutritional data. Innovations need to be shelf stable. The deadline for receiving the finished goods and supporting materials is November 25th. Judging criteria will be based on the following:

Innovation and Originality – 25
Product Characteristics (Taste, texture) – 25
Presentation – 25
Overall Consumer Value (addresses a dietary need) – 25

Announcement – The winning group will be announced virtually in January during a conference call (date to be determined)

Grand Prize

  • $1500 cash courtesy of the Maple Treat Corporation and a one-hour consultation with a Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) Regional Innovation Director

Second Place Prize

  • $500 cash courtesy of the Maple Treat Corporation

Third Place Prize

  • The Maple Treat Corporation Gift Basket

Value to Students
• Educational value
• Team building
• Group and School Recognition
• Resume building opportunity
• Networking contacts
• Professional guidance

For more details check out the microsite here The Maple Innovation Challenge

Spoon filled with maple flakes beside a cell phone with maple syrup swirled on top.

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