Vegan products top menu at student food innovation competition

17/04/2019 - 06:00
The growing trend towards veganism has inspired the teams that have entered this year’s student food innovation competition – Ecotrophelia UK.

Now in its seventh year, the dragon den’s style competition challenges teams of UK students to develop innovative, eco-friendly food and drink products.

The competition has been ‘fierce’, with more teams than ever competing for a place in the final and a slice of the £3,500 prize fund.

Andrew Gardner, operations director at The Institute of Food, Science and Technology, said: “We are delighted to see another exciting range of eco-innovative products and high-quality portfolios in this year’s UK final.

“Year-on-year our preliminary judges, who do a fantastic job sifting through the all the entries tell us that the quality has gone up, and this year is no different, with another very impressive field. I can’t wait to try the products!”

The final five are:

  • Caruffle: A truffle made from carob and hazelnut, with a mixed fruit jelly centre and rolled in popped and ground quinoa – Nottingham Trent University
  • Keesh: A vegan, gluten-free and reduced fat quiche-like product made of a sweet potato base packed with roasted vegetables in a chickpea flour filling – University of Reading
  • Cubiies: Vegan, tooth friendly gummy sweets primarily made from vegetables aimed at 5–12 year olds. They are made of pureed by product produce, polyols, modified starch and natural flavourings – University of Nottingham
  • Favalicious: An orange (pepper and tomato), pink (beetroot) and green (spinach and herb) ‘hummus style’ fava bean dip. It is served with fava bean and wheat-based breadstick, flavoured with beetroot, tomato and basil – University of Reading
  • Venergy: Lemon and lime energy sweets providing endurance athletes with a vegan sustainable alternative to energy products, by tackling issues with ingredient and packaging sustainability – University of Reading

The finalists will pitch their products to the dragons on 11 June and the winner will be announced on 12 June at Campden BRI Day.

The ‘dragons’ are senior food experts from across industry including PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Food Manufacture, Marks & Spencer, Mondelez, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Unilever, Warburtons, IFSTand Campden BRI.

This year's entries included teams from Cambridge University, London Metropolitan University, Nottingham Trent University, University of Nottingham, University of Reading, University of West London.

Winners will go on to represent the UK at the European final which will take place during ANUGA in Cologne, Germany in October 2019.

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