Newsletter Coordinator:
Roshema Mel, M.Sc. Student
Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences
University of Manitoba


Student Spotlight

Xiaohang (Clare) Zou is a Food Science Ph.D. student at the University of Manitoba, Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, Canada, studying under the guidance of Dr. Maneka Malalgoda. She is currently in her first year and working on a research project on asparagine in Canadian wheat cultivars.

She received her master’s degree in food science and engineering from Dalian Polytechnic University (China), and her bachelor’s degree in food quality and safety from Shenyang Agricultural University (China). After finishing her degree, she worked as a lab technician for Dalian Grain and Oil Inspection and Monitoring Station (China), where she contributed to the quality inspection for various grains and oil, GMO grains examination by using q PCR, and mycotoxin detection through HPLC.

Wheat is the most successful grain because of its high adaptability and various application. The high wheat gluten content contributes to the elasticity and viscosity of various wheat baking products. However, acrylamide, a probable carcinogen can be produced during high-temperature processing, which is harmful to human health. This interest brought her all the way to Manitoba, one of the largest producers of high-quality wheat in the world and the ideal location to pursue her research interests. Her study will focus on low-asparagine wheat cultivars and the relationship between asparagine concentration and wheat quality, such as kernel quality, dough quality, and baking quality. The primary goals of the research are to find the low asparagine wheat cultivars and investigate the relationship between asparagine concentration and wheat functional properties. She hopes to contribute her research findings for a sustainable agriculture breeding system where low asparagine grains are used as material for acrylamide mitigation in wheat-based products.

Upcoming events


  • Ongoing: Knowledge Bites Webinar Series (FREE for members):
  • June 7 to 9, 2023: Canadian Food Summit – CIFST National Conference, RBC Convention Centre and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, London, Ontario — Registration opens March 15, 2023:
  • June 7, 2023: 3MT Student Competition 2023: (More details coming soon)
  • Marvin Tung Competition 2023: Details coming soon

Manitoba Section:

  • April 2023: Manitoba School Science Symposium
  • May 2023: Annual General Meeting

Quebec Section:

Ontario Section:

  • Technical, procurement, and marketing online events: Dates TBA
  • Golf Tournament: Date TBA
  • Supplier’s Night: Date TBA

Mentorship survey

The CIFST Student Committee is looking for your help. They are seeking volunteers to complete a survey to help gauge interest in a new Mentorship Program as a member benefit of CIFST. The survey will take about 2 minutes:

Mentorship is offered as a benefit of membership with the association. Young professional members/learners will be invited to register and participate as mentees. The program helps them immediately gain career-enhancing knowledge and insights into career paths they are following or may be considering.

Please complete this survey no later than Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

CIFST website and LinkedIn page

Please visit our website for more updated information,

In addition to the online community, CIFST has a LinkedIn page, to which you can request access through the link below:

CIFST Student members have a group on LinkedIn. Please use this link to join.