Ecotrophelia competition dominated by meat-free

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

This year's student innovation competition was dominated by meat-free products
This year's student innovation competition was dominated by meat-free products
Meat-free and vegan products are dominating the finalists’ entries in the UK leg of this year’s Ecotrophelia, the student food innovation competition.

The UK heat of the Europe-wide competition is organised by UK food and drink research organisation Campden BRI, in conjunction with the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST).

Teams at this year’s finals include the University of West London, Cardiff Metropolitan University, the University of Reading, the University of Nottingham and London Metropolitan University. See the box below for details on the products each team is entering.

Panel of dragons

Finalists will present their products to a panel of dragons – senior food experts from across the industry, including Coca-Cola, Mondelēz, Warburtons and Food Manufacture –​ on 5 June, with the winner announced on 6 June at Campden BRI day.

The five teams of students will be vying for a place in the European final at Sial Paris on 21–22 October, where they will compete against 19 other teams from across Europe for a slice of the £3,500 prize fund.

Bertrand Emond, head of membership and training at Campden BRI, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many young people engage with this competition and put forward such innovative products.

‘High hopes for the teams’

“Last year’s winning team went on to win silver prize in the European final with their vegan sushi made from cauliflower rice and fresh vegetables, building on the bronze prize the previous year, so we have high hopes for the teams again this year.”

Now in its sixth year, Ecotrophelia challenges teams of UK students to develop innovative, eco-friendly food and drink products.

Last year’s winners from the University of Reading claimed the silver prize​ at the Ecotrophelia European Finals in 2017 with their Yasai Caulirice Sushi.

Speaking in November, Yasai team member Natasha Patel said: “After winning the UK competition, our team worked with mentors from the IFST, Marks & Spencer, Coca-Cola and Campden BRI to make Yasai Caulirice as strong as it could be and we’re grateful for their amazing advice.”

Ecotrophelia UK finalists

  • University of West London​ – Fava Bomb: fava bean ‘falafel-style’ savoury balls with a soft dip centre and a crunchy fava bean crust. A vegan on-the-go snack
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University​ – Vegan Pizza with a Seaweed Base: a healthy, allergen-free pizza with a seaweed base, topped with tomato sauce, roasted red pepper, chestnut mushrooms, courgette, red onion, black olives and vegan cheese
  • University of Reading ​– OAT-YOG Cacao, Cherry and Almond: a vegan, oat-based, vanilla yoghurt alternative, with a ‘supergrain’ cluster topping, containing recycled oats, puffed quinoa and sorghum wheat. The clusters contain cacao, cherry and almond
  • University of Nottingham ​– Pom Puffs: spicy BBQ-flavoured apple pomace and corn puffs
  • London Metropolitan University ​– FabaMallow: a luxury, vegan and eco-friendly marshmallow, made from aquafaba and apples, coated in dark chocolate

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