Students scoop gold prize in food innovation competition with their low-fat, non-dairy iced dessert

A team of food science and technology students from Nottingham Trent University has been awarded the top prize in a national food innovation competition.

Camera icon
The Från Början students at the Ecotrophelia 2016 event

A team of food science and technology students from Nottingham Trent University has been awarded the top prize in a national food innovation competition.

The Från Början team won gold at the Ecotrophelia 2016 event for their vegan, low-fat luxury iced dessert. The name "Från Början" translates from Swedish to "from the beginning", referring to the algal protein which has been used to replace dairy protein in the product.

The team will now go on to compete against the gold-winning national teams from across Europe for the chance to win up to €6,000 in the Ecotrophelia Europe competition, which will be held in October at SIAL in Paris.

The UK heat of the 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.

Ecotrophelia gives students a taste of new product development. From idea generation through to the final packaged product, the teams get a hands-on experience of what it takes to bring an eco-friendly food or drink product to market.

Along with a £2,000 cash prize, the team from Nottingham Trent University will be invited to become Institute of Food Science and Technology Young Ambassadors. The students – Ryan Clifford and Dominic Urban – are both food industry apprentices and study on the BSc Food Science and Technology course in the University's School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences. The competition was entered as part of their Advanced Product Development module.

We are delighted to have had two teams do so well in this competition – the first year we've entered.

Sara Poulson, Subject Leader for Food and Horticultural Sciences at NTU

Ryan Clifford said, "Ecotrophelia is a great opportunity to take an idea from concept right through to the final product. It's been a great experience and I would like to thank everyone that has supported us throughout the competition."

The awards were introduced by the competition's Chief Judge and Executive Director of Warburtons, Brett Warburton, and presented by Sue Bell, Head of Food Technology at M&S at Campden BRI's annual open day for the food and drink industry.

Nottingham Trent University also won the bronze prize, with £500 awarded to the Hemptations team for its non-dairy flavoured hemp milkshakes. All the winning teams will also receive a one-year IFST membership and a number of Elsevier food science publications.

Sara Poulson, Subject Leader for Food and Horticultural Sciences at Nottingham Trent University, said: "We are delighted to have had two teams do so well in this competition – the first year we've entered. Everyone has worked so hard to reach this result, and we wish the Från Början team the very best of luck in the European stage of the competition."

Judges from top names in the food and drink industry – including Coca-Cola, M&S, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Warburtons, as well as BBSRC and Innovate UK – listened to the teams' pitches and tasted the products before carefully considering each entry for its industrial feasibility, taste, eco-innovation, originality, creativity and innovation, and market credibility.

Bertrand Emond, Head of Membership and Training at Campden BRI, said: "It's very encouraging to see interest in Ecotrophelia UK growing year on year. A record 19 teams from across the UK have entered the competition this year and the standard has been exceptionally high. We are delighted to have so many big names supporting Ecotrophelia to help attract the brightest and the best young talent to the food and drink industry."

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Dave Rogers, Head of Communications, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8782, or via email; or Helen Breese, Media Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8751, or via email.

    For more information visit www.ecotrophelia-uk.org

    Campden BRI (www.campdenbri.co.uk) provides technical, legislative and scientific support and research to the food and drinks industry worldwide. We offer a comprehensive "farm to fork" range of services covering agri-food production, analysis and testing, processing and manufacturing, safety, training and technical information services. Our members and clients benefit from industry-leading facilities for analysis, product and process development, and sensory and consumer studies, which include a specialist brewing and wine division.

    Nottingham Trent University's five-year strategic plan Creating the University of the Future has five main ambitions: Creating Opportunity, Valuing Ideas, Enriching Society, Connecting Globally and Empowering People.

    The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education was awarded to Nottingham Trent University in November 2015. It is the highest national honour for a UK university and recognises the institution’s world-class research. Pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula, and combat food fraud, led to the prestigious award.

Students scoop gold prize in food innovation competition with their low-fat, non-dairy iced dessert

Published on 13 June 2016
  • Category: Press office; School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418