Program overview

DuPont NutriScholars Awards (DNA) program was initiated by DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences in partnership with F1rstMR Business Analytics (F1RST) to drive commercially viable innovation in academic fraternity and increase industry capabilities in foods and beverages by engaging academia at multiple levels.

Plant-based protein market in India has been rapidly growing with numerous product- launches and emerging start-ups. Urban and young population are growing at a faster rate and the demand for nutritional, convenient and healthy foods is increasing by the day, making food innovation very important more than any other time in history. DNA 2020 is keen to ignite the flame of imagination and interest in student’s minds, and direct innovation towards developing food products enriched with nutritional and sensory attributes.

The current edition of DNA aims at bringing innovative plant-based protein food ideas using DuPont™ Danisco® range of ingredients

This program aims to…

  • Provide a platform for collaboration between industry, academia, and students
  • Develop commercially scalable innovation capability of university students with support from DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences
  • Create a pipeline of innovative protein food ideas using DuPont Danisco® plant-based protein and functional food ingredients
  • For more details on rules and regulations, food ingredients from DuPont Danisco® range and eligibility, refer participant handbook

The DuPont NutriScholars Awards -Season 3 offers four exciting award categories:

1. Convenient and nutritious breakfast: Convenient and easy to prepare (ready to cook/drink) breakfast concept

2. QSR style lunch/dinner: Convenient, easy and fast to prepare and serve quick service restaurant (QSR) relevant lunch/dinner concept

3. Healthier desserts/Indulgences: Sweet tasting and healthier dessert/indulgence food with enhanced protein content

4. 4 PM healthy savoury snacks: Tasty and healthy savoury snacks with enhanced protein content

Key criteria for developing protein food product:

  • Product concept should contain at least one to maximum of five DuPont Danisco®
    ingredients listed in the participant handbook under the section 3.2
  • It is mandatory to use at least one to maximum of three DuPont Danisco® protein ingredients
  • The concept should contain minimum protein content necessary for claiming ‘Source’ of protein
Protein related claims Minimum requirement
Source 10% of RDA per 100 g for solids
5% of RDA per 100 ml for liquids
5% of RDA per 100 kcal
Rich/High 20% of RDA per 100 g for solids
10% of RDA per 100 ml for liquids
10% of RDA per 100 kcal
  • Minimum 50% of the total protein content of the product should be met through the usage of DuPont Danisco® soy and/or pea proteins
  • The concept must be vegetarian
  • The concept should be industry scalable at the plant level
  • Target age group must be specified for each product concept
  • The final developed product should be stable either at ambient or frozen condition
  • Product concept must be designed to retain microbial safety and stability during storage and logistics

Additional criteria for bonus points:

  • Enhanced nutritional value of the concept compared to similar products available in the market. Improved nutritional claims such as reduced calorie, reduced fat, reduced salt and/or reduced sugar; high in protein content and fiber
  • More number of DuPont Danisco® ingredients, up to five appropriate DuPont Danisco® ingredients can be added.
  • Cost estimation comparing the concept with a benchmark product from market
  • The concept may cater to a market need or insight such as vegan, weight management, etc.
  • If the snack/dessert concept requires elaborate cooking (apart from microwave or adding hot water) before serving, then final cooked product has to be prepared and submitted for the phase 2 evaluation by the student team ensuring the shelf life and safety
  • In case of breakfast or QSR style lunch/dinner, the product should match the segment needs such as:
    – Easy and quick to prepare such as microwave cooking or addition of hot water in 5-10 minutes
    – Convenient to serve
  • Each prize-winning team and runner-up team in the four categories will be rewarded INR 50,000 and INR 25,000 respectively.
  • Each member of the finalist teams will receive a certificate.
  • It is free to apply in the competition
  • The platform offers up to INR 50,000 and INR 25,000 prize money to Phase 2 winner and runner teams and up to INR 4,000 of experimental fund for each shortlisted team from Phase 1.
  • The winning team members, post an interview round, will stand a chance of an internship with DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences for a period of up to four weeks, which can help in shaping up his/her career in food industry.

PHASE 1: Proposal

  • On August 27, 2020, student teams from Indian Universities/institutes will be invited to submit a comprehensive and detailed proposal of their solution to any one of the four protein food concepts. These proposals will be assessed and evaluated based on the extended list of predefined criteria.
  • Evaluation panel will select top four best-scored proposal by second week of October 2020.
  • All the applications must be submit electronically using the online form.


  • Four finalist teams for each award category will receive experimental fund (INR 4000 each).
  • Each finalist team must develop product based on their proposal and submit complete report and prepared product by third week of November 2020 for the awards.
  • Virtual award ceremony for the winning teams will be conducted in the first/second week of December 2020.