Spicy BBQ snack wins student innovation prize

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Students from the University of Nottingham took the gold prize at this year's Ecotrophelia UK
Students from the University of Nottingham took the gold prize at this year's Ecotrophelia UK
A student team from the University of Nottingham has won the UK leg of this year’s Ecotrophelia student food innovation competition, revealed at Campden BRI’s annual open day (June 6).

The RICH Pickings team impressed a panel of judges from top food and drink industry brands – including Coca-Cola, Unilever and PepsiCo in a ‘Dragons Den’ style competition. Rod Addy, editor of Food Manufacture, was also part of the judging panel.

RICH Pickings’ spicy BBQ extruded apple pomace and maize snack Pom Puffs secured them the gold prize.

Each member took home a share of £2,000 and an invitation to become an Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) young ambassador.

Lisa Williamson, RICH Pickings’ captain and food science student at the University of Nottingham, said that Ecotrophelia had been a very positive experience for the team.

“We applied what we’ve learned in our studies, demonstrated our knowledge to the dragons and received great feedback as a result,”​ said Williamson. “We’re also grateful for the technical support that we’ve received along the way.”

Hard work paid off

Faba Mallow
Second prize winners Faba Mallow

The other team members said they were overwhelmed to have won the competition: “All the hard work done alongside our degree has finally paid off.

“Our teamwork and incredible belief in our product is what made it a success. It is also strongly aligned to the ‘RICH Pickings’ values – Reuse, Innovate, Community, Honesty”.

The ‘Supreme Sweets’ team from London Metropolitan University secured the silver prize and £1,000 with their ‘FabaMallow’ product – a luxury, vegan and eco-friendly marshmallow made from aquafaba and apples and coated in dark chocolate.

The bronze prize and £500 was awarded to a team from the University of West London with their Fava Bomb – a vegan fava bean ‘falafel-style’ savoury balls with a soft dip centre and a crunchy fava bean crust. All three prize winning teams will also receive a one-year IFST membership.

Exposure to the industry

Fava Bomb
Third prize winners Fava Bomb

Commenting on the finals, Campden BRI head of membership and training Bertrand Edmond said: “We are delighted that we are continuing to attract and inspire the best food science and technology students to take part in Ecotrophelia. It’s a fantastic way for them to get exposure to some of the industry’s biggest players and potential future employers.

“Around 300 students from 16 different universities across the UK have now taken part since 2013 and we are very grateful for the continued support that competition receives from the industry sponsors. Innovation and creativity is essential for the continued success of the food industry and Ecotrophelia helps to achieve this.”

The team from the University of Nottingham will go on to compete against 19 other national teams from across Europe in the Ecotrophelia European finals, which will be held at SIAL in Paris on 21st and 22nd October 2018.

Meanwhile, look out for our exclusive video interviews with the teams at this year’s UK finals.

Related topics: NPD, Ambient foods, Confectionery

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