Competition hots up for student innovation prize

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Last year’s winners of the Ecotrophelia UK competitition were a team of PepsiCo placement students for their Medeina Bites
Last year’s winners of the Ecotrophelia UK competitition were a team of PepsiCo placement students for their Medeina Bites

Related tags Campden bri Nutrition Food and drink New product development

Interest in the UK’s student food innovation competition – Ecotrophelia – has soared with the greatest number of entries ever received this year.

Winners of Ecotrophelia UK 2016, a competition which challenges students to develop an eco-friendly food, will receive cash prizes and the overall winner will go forward to represent the home nation at the finals, Ecotrophelia Europe, which takes place at the SIAL exhibition in Paris in October.

From idea generation through to the final packaged product, the teams get a hands-on experience of what it takes to bring an eco-friendly food or drink to market.

Interest growing year-on-year

“It’s very encouraging to see interest in Ecotrophelia UK growing year-on-year,”​ said Bertrand Emond, head of membership and training at Campden BRI, which is hosting this year’s competition.

“A record 19 teams from across the UK have entered the competition this year and the standard has been exceptionally high. We are delighted to have so many big names supporting Ecotrophelia to help attract the brightest and the best young talent to the food and drink industry.”

After much deliberation, a panel of new product development experts selected the five finalist teams (see the panel at bottom of this story).

Pitching ideas to ‘dragons’

The shortlisted teams will pitch their ideas to the ‘dragons’ – a distinguished panel of food experts from Marks & Spencer, Coca-Cola, Mondelēz, PepsiCo, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Warburtons, as well as  representatives from BBSRC, Food Manufacture​ and Innovate UK – for the chance to win £3,500.  The competition takes place at Campden BRI on June 7, with the winners announced at Campden BRI Day on June 8, The overall winning team will go on to represent the UK at Ecotrophelia Europe at SIAL.

As well as teams for the institutions already mentioned, this year’s entries also included teams from Cardiff Metropolitan University, Coventry University, Harper Adams University, The University of Leeds and the University of Reading.

The UK heat of this Europe-wide competition was organised by UK food and drink research organisation, Campden BRI, in conjunction with the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST), the independent qualifying body for food professionals in in the UK.

For more details, visit the IFST website​. 

Ecotrophelia UK 2016 finalists

  • El Nacho: Slow cooked pulled turkey in a hot enchilada sauce with chunky nachos for dipping – the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise, CAFRE, in Northern Ireland
  • Apeel: A premium snack bar with whole nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetable peels drizzled with dark chocolate – London Metropolitan University
  • Fran Borjan: Vegan, low fat iced dessert made with algal protein – Nottingham Trent University
  • Hemptations: Hemp milkshakes in a range of flavours – Nottingham Trent University
  • Spent N’ Gain: Extruded flavoured snack product made from brewer’s spent grain – The University of Nottingham

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