Nottingham Trent students win Ecotrophelia UK

The Från Början team pick up their Ecotrophelia UK 2016 winner’s cheque from M&S’s Sue Bell

A student team from Nottingham Trent University has scooped the gold prize for their low-fat, non-dairy ice cream made with algal protein, in the UK leg of Ecotrophelia 2016 – the pan-European competition for ecologically inspired innovative new product development (NPD).

The Från Början team from Nottingham Trent University picked up the award on Wednesday June 9 at the Campden BRI annual open day for their vegan, low-fat luxury iced dessert.

The name Från Början, Swedish for “from the beginning”, refers to the algal protein used to replace dairy protein in the chocolate flavoured ice cream, which wowed the panel of senior judges – or ‘dragons’ – from across the UK food and drink industry.

According to its organisers, Ecotrophelia aimed to give students a taste of NPD. From idea generation through to the final packaged product, the teams received 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 winning team will go on to represent the UK at the European Ecotrophelia finals, which take place during the Sial food show in Paris from October 16 to 20.

They will also be invited to become Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST) Young Ambassadors.

IFST organised the Ecotrophelia UK competition in conjunction with Campden BRI. Judging took place at Campden BRI on Tuesday June 8.

Both members of the team – Ryan Clifford and Dominic Urban – are apprentices at Unilever and are being sponsored by the company while studying for a BSc in Science and Food Technology at Nottingham Trent University.

‘Great opportunity’

“Ecotrophelia is a great opportunity to take an idea from concept right through to the final product,” said Clifford. “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 Marks & Spencer (M&S).

The El Nacho team from College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise in Northern Ireland was awarded the silver prize and £1,000 for their slow-cooked, pulled turkey in a hot enchilada sauce with chunky nachos.

The bronze prize and £500 was awarded to the Hemptations team from Nottingham Trent University for their 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.

The judging panel comprised representatives from The Coca-Cola Company, M&S, Mondelēz, PepsiCo, Sainsbury, Tesco and Warburtons, as well as the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Innovate UK and Food Manufacture.

The 10-strong panel of dragons 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.

‘Interest in Ecotropheila UK growing’

“It’s very encouraging to see interest in Ecotrophelia UK growing year-on-year,” said Bertrand Emond, head of membership and training at Campden BRI.

“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.”

The Från Början team will go on to compete against the gold-winning national teams from across the whole of Europe for the chance to win up to €6,000 in the Ecotrophelia Europe competition at Sial.

Ecotrophelia UK 2016 finalists
  • Apeel: A premium snack bar with whole nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetable peels drizzled with dark chocolate – London Metropolitan University
  • Hemptations: Hemp milkshakes in a range of flavours – Nottingham Trent University
  • El Nacho: Slow cooked pulled pork in a hot enchilada sauce with chunky nachos for dipping – The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise, Northern Ireland
  • Spent N’ Gain: Extruded flavoured snack product made from brewer’s spent grain – The University of Nottingham
  • Från Början: Vegan, low fat iced dessert made with algal protein – Nottingham Trent University


Ecotrophelia UK ‘dragons’
  • Brett Warburton (chair of judges), executive director, Warburtons
  • Sue Bell, head of food technology, M&S
  • Maureen Edmondson, president, IFST
  • Tim Ingmire, R&D senior director, global foods innovation, PepsiCo
  • Victoria Jones, senior group leader, ingredients research, Mondelēz International
  • Alec Kyriakides, head of product quality, safety and supplier performance, Sainsbury
  • Helen Munday, lead technologist in agrifood, Innovate UK
  • Philip Parsons, senior director global R&D, process and engineering innovation, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Rick Pendrous, editor, Food Manufacture
  • Richard Stride, head of product research and academy, Tesco
  • Professor Steven Walker, director general, Campden BRI

Related News

Product innovations from Newby Teas, Warner Edwards, Teaforia and Grant's Foods

Latest food and drink innovations – in pictures

Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie leads the charge with the bands beer, The Trooper

Food and drink innovations photogallery – July

Late August NPD

The latest food innovations – photogallery

A raft of Christmas food launches lead this month's NPD photogallery

Christmas launches lead food NPD – photogallery

Gluten-free cake mix, resealable cans and festive crisps feature in this month’s photogallery

New product developments in the food and drink industry – in pictures

The two man team from Nottingham Trent University scooped third place at Ecotrophelia. Left to right:  Philippe Goetzmann, Ryan Clifford, Dominic Urban and Alain Huertas

Food innovation prize won by UK graduates

Festive crisps and chocolate pizza lead this month's photogallery

Food and drink new product developments – photogallery

Valentine’s Day, Burns Night and the Chinese New Year serve as inspiration for new product launches

Valentine’s Day product launches – in pictures

Food and drink product launches – in pictures

Food and drink product launches – photogallery

Frozen desserts and halal sweets feature in this photogallery of product launches

Food and drink product launches – in pictures

Disney's Frozen cake mixes and Pink Panther wafers lead our photogallery of new product development

New food product development – in pictures

PepsiCo is to offer grants to up-and-coming health food entrepreneurs

PepsiCo offers £256k to budding food entrepreneurs

Last year’s winners Ryan Clifford and Dominic Urban receive their prize from Marks & Spencer’s Sue Bell

Food innovation student award shortlist announced

Vegetarian burgers and snacks lead this month's photogallery

Vegetarian product launches lead NPD gallery

Last year’s winners of the Ecotrophelia UK competitition were a team of PepsiCo placement students for their Medeina Bites

Competition hots up for student innovation prize

Cheque this out: Sainsbury's Alex Kyriakides (left) with last year's winners from Harper Adams

Universities to fight it out in 'green' food innovation award

Last year’s winner of the Ecotrophelia UK competition was the Gastronommies team from Harper Adams

Shortlist announced for student ‘green’ innovation award

Student teams will vie for a £2,000 prize and a chance to enter the finals

A chance for bright sparks in food science and technology

The More Than Meat Pies product won the top prize based on criteria such as commercial feasibility and eco-innovation

Harper Adams green meat pie scoops award

The winning team from Harper Adams University

Harper Adams eco-friendly cereal bar wins gold award

The UK's top team will compete against 15 gold winners across Europe

Students' ready meal offal pie wins food innovation prize

Pie-tastic achievement: Harper Adams students are hoping for euro success in the Ecotrophelia 2013 competition this weekend, after winning UK gold in June

Students aim for top prize in euro food competition

Innovation is essential for the industry to grow

UK’s first bid in Dragons’ Den style food contest

Members of the Ecotrophelia winning team, Medeina Bites, received their prize from M&S's head of food technology Sue Bell

PepsiCo team wins green food innovation award

Competition to find nutrition-specific placements in the UK is tough, said Andrea Parodi

Food firms should boost student work placements: IFST

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.