Food Man Talks

Vegan brownie entry uses brewers' grains for Ecotrophelia UK

By Rod Addy & James Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Npd, Bakery, Supply chain, Ingredients & nutrition, vegan

Brewers' spent grains were a vital ingredient in Ecotrophelia UK finalist Brewer's Brownies' entry and team representative Esther Ghey outlines the product concept in this Food Man Talks video podcast.

Re-Dessert, the finalist team from University of Nottingham, won Gold in the competition for a concept using bread waste based on traditional Indian dessert gulab jamun​. Plant-Up, the finalist team from University of West London, won Silver for proposing a range of plant-based pastas​. The Eco-Dive team – also from University of Nottingham – won Bronze for its Coco-Waffle concept​, a Dutch-inspired waffle sandwich with a coconut caramel filling. The results were revealed on the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) website​ on 10 June.

Referring to the product idea, Ghey, representing an entry from Liverpool Hope University, says: "It's a vegan, chocolate orange brownie that's been produced using brewers' spent grain, which is a food waste ingredient from the brewing industry. Late last year in food science we had the opportunity to brew our own beer, which was a fantastic experience, but we realised a lot of the grain actually went to waste. With the help of the Alchemic Kitchen​ [a social enterprise based in north west England dedicated to using waste food to help feed people] and Neptune Brewery in Liverpool, we were inspired to create the Brewer's Brownie."

Ghey goes on to explain the challenges the coronavirus pandemic posed to the Brewer's Brownies team in terms of putting their entry together and her future career plans in this exclusive video.

Shortlist of finalists

Teams from learning providers across the UK enter Ecotrophelia UK, which is now in its eighth year and is jointly organised by Campden BRI in conjunction with the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST). After an initial screening process, a shortlist of finalists​ is drawn up. These teams must prepare a dossier and present their idea to a Dragons’ Den​-style judging panel. Prizes are offered to teams coming first, second and third.

Judging took place remotely because of current COVID-19 guidelines on 2 June. The ‘dragons’ are senior food experts from across industry including PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Food Manufacture​, Marks & Spencer, Mondelēz, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Unilever, Warburtons, Nestlé, IFST and Campden BRI. Diageo head of quality Tim Holmes shared his thoughts on the contest in another Food Man Talks video​.

The IFST has also posted videos covering Re-Dessert's concept​, as well as entries from Plant Up​ and Eco-Dive​ on YouTube.

This year’s shortlisted teams

In addition to the top three teams and Brewer's Brownies' entry, this year's Ecotrophelia UK entries​ also included teams from University of Reading, University of Liverpool, Leeds University and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

As Ecotrophelia UK Gold winner, Re-Dessert claims £2,000, a year’s free IFST membership and an invitation to become an IFST ambassador. They will go on to represent the UK in the European finals of the competition, which this year will be held at trade show Sial in Paris. They also get one day to be spent with one or several dragons, who will mentor and support the team in preparation for the finals.

The Silver team gets £1,000 and a year’s free IFST membership and the Bronze team gets £500 and a year’s free IFST membership.

Entrants were required to address all aspects of the product development process, including production, ingredients, nutrition, food science and food safety, marketing, sales and commercial viability.

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