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    Students hope winning top award is ‘easy as pie’

    Posted 1 October 2013

    Our students’ success in the Ecotrophelia contest provides a wonderful demonstration of the quality of our graduates and the things they can achieve.

    The students pictured after winning the UK heat of the competition

    A team of ambitious students from Harper Adams University are hoping to scoop gold when they represent the UK in the European finals of a competition to find the best eco-innovative food product.

    The Ecotrophelia 2013 finals take place in Cologne, Germany, on October 6 and 7 during ANUGA, the world’s leading food fair for the retail trade and the food service and catering market.

    The students from the university won the competition’s UK’s heat, organised by Campden BRI and the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), in June with their ready meal offal pie, aptly named ‘A Hearty Meal’, which consists of several kinds of offal including heart, kidney and liver.

    Members of the Harper Adams team hope their pie will fill a sizeable gap in the market for an offal ready meal product, capitalising on celebrity chefs, such as Gordon Ramsey’s recent championing of cooking with offal and using cheaper cuts of meat.

    The nine students face stiff competition in Cologne from 18 other European countries, including France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Italy and many more, all vying for the chance to win up to €8,000.

    The finalists will be judged by a panel of European food industry experts representing the industrial and distribution sectors and members of the European Commission, and chaired by Dr Michael Knowles, Vice President of the Coca-Cola Company and President of the European Technology Platform ‘Food for Life’.

    The judges will be looking for not only the most innovative, eco-friendly product but the team which demonstrates a thorough understanding of marketing, optimising raw materials, ensuring sustainable processes and taking into account technical, taste, regulatory and packaging requirements to create an economically and commercially relevant product.

    Staff in the Department of Food Science and Agri-Food Supply Chain Management at Harper Adams are delighted with the success of their students in the UK heat of the contest.

    Anne Taylor, senior lecturer and the department’s specialist in food product development and innovation, said: “We have been very impressed by the way our student team logically assessed the challenge, broke it into bite sized chunks with clear objectives, and executed the project with intelligence, creativity and the use of appropriate food science and technology. Their professionalism throughout has been outstanding.”

    Ralph Early, the head of department, said he was overjoyed at the result of the UK heat, adding: “Harper Adams University is a relative newcomer to the education of food technologists.

    “We are well known for turning out agriculture graduates, but we are still growing in the education of people to meet the needs of food processors and manufacturers.

    “Our students’ success in the Ecotrophelia contest provides a wonderful demonstration of the quality of our graduates and the things they can achieve.”

    Bertrand Emond, Head of Membership and Training at Campden BRI, said: “These students represent the future of the food industry and from what we have seen from judging the British entries, the outlook and prospects for these food innovators of the future are very bright indeed.

    “This is the first time the competition has been open to entries from UK students and we wish the Harper Adams team the very best of luck in the Ecotrophelia 2013 European finals.”

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