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Gloucestershire Business News

Student snack wins gold at national food innovation competition

A healthy spicy barbecue snack created by a team of students has won each team member a share of £2,000 in a national Dragons' Den-style competition.

Now in its sixth year, Ecotrophelia UK challenges teams of UK students to develop an innovative, eco-friendly food and drink product.

Winners were announced at the Cotswold headquarters of Campden BRI by the competition's chief judge and Sainsbury's head of central technical operations, Alec Kyriakides, and presented by sponsor Marks and Spencer's Patrick Carter.

Lisa Williamson, a food science student and captain of winners RICH Pickings, said: "We applied what we've learned in our studies, demonstrated our knowledge to the dragons and received great feedback as a result.

"We're also grateful for the technical support that we've received along the way."

The RICH Pickings team developed what it called Pom Puffs - described as a tasty and nutritious snack made from extruded apple pomace, maize and packaged in a recyclable pouch.

Bertrand Emond, Head of Membership and Training at Campden BRI said: "We are delighted that we are continuing to attract and inspire the best food science and technology students to take part in Ecotrophelia.

"It's a fantastic way for them to get exposure to some of the industry's biggest players and potential future employers."

The Supreme Sweets team from London Metropolitan University won the silver prize and £1,000 with its FabaMallow product - a luxury, vegan and eco-friendly marshmallow made from aquafaba and apples and coated in dark chocolate.

Bronze and £500 was went to a team from the University of West London for its Fava Bomb - vegan fava bean falafel-style savoury balls with a soft dip centre and crunchy bean crust.

All three prize winning teams also received a one-year IFST membership.

The teams pitched their ideas to judges from top names in the food and drink industry including Marks and Spencer, Coca-Cola, Unilever, PepsiCo, Mondelez, Sainsbury's, Warburtons, Tesco, Food Manufacture, Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and Campden BRI. Additional sponsorship was also provided by Food Matters LIVE.

RICH Pickings, from the University of Nottingham, will go on to compete against 19 other national teams from across Europe in Paris for the chance to win up to €6,000.

Pictures of the teams will follow.

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