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Ecotrophelia student innovation contest names finalists

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Seven finalists will battle for the gold prize at this year's Ecotrophelia UK finals. Pictured: Last year's finalists
Seven finalists will battle for the gold prize at this year's Ecotrophelia UK finals. Pictured: Last year's finalists

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The Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) has announced the seven finalists of the 11th Ecotrophelia UK, the competition celebrating food and drink student innovation.

Ecotrophelia challenges students to develop a sustainable and innovative food product from concept to market. Finalists will then be judged by a panel made up of industry leaders and senior experts in food and drink in a ‘Dragons Den’ ​style competition, with the UK winner entered into the European competition.

The seven teams vying for a spot at the European finals are EcoBites (Manchester Metropolitan University), Eco-Co (Nottingham Trent University), Hey Pesto! (University of Nottingham), PlanEat (University of Nottingham), Inudle (University of Reading), Nourish Nibbles (University of Reading) and Team Avocaduo (University of Surrey)

IFST chief executive Tim McLachlan, said: "We are thrilled to see such an impressive range of entries from universities across the United Kingdom. The Ecotrophelia competition is one of the highlights of our year and presents a fantastic opportunity for students to showcase their creativity, innovation, and sustainability credentials.

Creativity and drive

“Every year, we continue to be more and more impressed by the creativity and drive of the competing teams. We look forward to seeing the finalists' pitches in June and wish them the best of luck in the competition."

The winning team will receive a cash prize of £2,000, a year’s free IFST membership and expert mentorship from some of the ‘dragons’ who judge the competition to prepare them for the European final.

Bertrand Emond, membership ambassador at Campden BRI, added: “The food industry faces fundamental challenges including reducing our environmental impact, meeting growing global demand for food, producing more from less as pressure increases on resources, and reformulating and creating new products to meet diet and health requirements.

“Using science and innovation effectively will be critical to survival and competitive advantage. We must support efforts to unlock, nurture and drive innovation in the industry that helps us to meet these challenges.

Innovation and inspiration

“Ecotrophelia is a fantastic platform and source of innovation and inspiration for the industry capitalising on the creativity and energy of our brightest and most enterprising food students supported by the best academic institutions.”

The Ecotrophelia UK final will take place on 7 June at the Sainsbury’s UK Headquarters in Holborn, Central London. The European final will be held in October 2023 at Anuga in Cologne, Germany. The UK heat of this Europe-wide competition is organised by UK food and drink research organisation Campden BRI, in conjunction with the IFST.

Meanwhile, a team of students from the University of Nottingham, team name The Green Feathers took home the gold prize at Ecotrophelia UK last year​ with their Cracker(ed) it Crackers.

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