Students' ready meal offal pie wins food innovation prize

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

The UK's top team will compete against 15 gold winners across Europe
The UK's top team will compete against 15 gold winners across Europe

Related tags Sheffield hallam university Sheffield

Harper Adams University's More than Meat Pies team has won gold prize in the Dragons' Den-style event Ecotrophelia UK 2013 for its ready meal offal pie, Hearty Meal.

Along with a £2,000 cash prize, the team will receive one-year's membership of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and a number of Elsevier food science publications.

The UK heat of this Europe-wide competition was organised by the IFST, the independent qualifying body for food professionals, in conjunction with food research organisation Campden BRI.

Commercial potential

The event challenges young people pursuing a career in the food industry to design an eco-friendly, innovative food or beverage product with commercial potential.

The team from the University of Nottingham took silver prize and £1,000 with Kombu Nations for their Chinese-style sausages made with toasted sesame and shiitake mushrooms.

The bronze prize and £500 was awarded to a team from King's College London, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Leeds for Vejects, a snack made from sub-standard vegetables.

Harper Adams University student Natalie Saxton accepted the gold prize on behalf of the More than Meat Pies team. She said: "One of the best things has been working as a team to bring everyone's ideas together in one product. The judges have been really supportive and we are looking forward to the European finals."

The awards were presented by one of the judging panel: Alec Kyriakides, head of product quality, safety and supplier performance at Sainsbury, at Campden BRI's annual open day on June 6. Chairman of the judging panel, which included Food Manufacture editor Rick Pendrous, was Brett Warburton, executive director of Warburtons.

The panel considered each entry for its eco-innovation, industrial feasibility, taste, originality, creativity, innovation and market credibility.

'Real asset'

Prof Margaret Patterson, IFST president and Ecotrophelia judge, said: "The hard work and creativity of the students was evident. These young food scientists and technologists should be a real asset to our profession's future."

The Harper Adams team will go on to compete in the European final in October.

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