FoodMan Talks: Ecotrophelia UK finalist on cereal bar idea

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Npd Bakery Ingredients & nutrition Packaging & labelling

An innovative cereal bar concept netted student team ReGen, from London Metropolitan University a finalist place in Ecotrophelia UK 2021's contest. Team lead Nyani Lebrasse tells us more in the latest FoodMan Talks.

Describing the product in this three minute video, Lebrasse said: "It's a snack bar, chewy, crunchy, sweetened with apple puree. It's got hazelnuts in it, made with ingredients that are made through agroforestry systems - a special type of cereal called YQ wheat."

YQ wheat is organic and is used for making sourdough bread, pastry and cakes, producing stoneground wholegrain flour, retaining the nutrients and flavour of whole grain wheat. YQ stands for yield/quality and one of the reasons it has caught the attention of speciality, artisinal bakers is that it does not need herbicides, fungicides and fertiliser to deliver high quality genetically diverse crops at consistent volumes over time. The EU changed rules requiring seeds sold to be distinct and uniform in 2017, thereby allowing YQ wheat sales within the Common Market.

Agroforestry is attracting intense focus at the moment as a sustainable farming method offering substantial benefits to the global food chain, combining trees and shrubs with crop and livestock faming systems.

Tailored to the four seasons

In addition to YQ wheat, the four initial cereal bars ReGen proposed would be tailored to the four seasons, using ingredients only available at certain times of year.

Watch this video to hear Legrasse explain the other eco-friendly features of the product concept, including its packaging.

Now in its ninth year, the Ecotrophelia competition celebrates innovations made by food students and helps guide their careers in the food and drink sector.

Judges from across the industry assess entrants in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition on their ability to develop a product that is innovative and eco-friendly.

Commenting on this year’s competition, Campden BRI membership ambassador, professional development and culture excellence lead Bertrand Emond said: “We are delighted that we are continuing to attract and inspire the best food science and technology students to take part in Ecotrophelia.

'Innovation and creativity essential'

“It’s a fantastic way for them to get exposure to some of the industry’s biggest players and potential future employers. Innovation and creativity are essential for the continued success of the food industry and Ecotrophelia helps to achieve this.”

Jemima Willgoss of Econauts, the student team from the University of Nottingham, talked to Food Manufacture​ about about its non-alcoholic take on coffee liqueur, which took home the gold prize at this year’s UK competition​.

In other FoodMan Talks, Lottie Morrey of team SeaFuel describes the concept that won them silver​ and Catherine Hamilton outlined the healthy children's snack idea that won team Dino Dips silver​.

The UK heat Europe-wide Ecotrophelia 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 Europe.

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