Ecotrophelia UK winner on attracting young talent

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Food manufacturers could do much more to attract younger people to the industry, according to the winner of this year’s Ecotrophelia UK gold award.

In this exclusive video interview, filmed immediately after the University of Reading team won the award, Katharine Law told FoodManufacture.co.uk that social media was the key to recruiting the next generation of food technologists.

Law, part of the winning team behind the low calorie sushi product, said: “I don’t think it’s [food manufacturing] that effective [in recruiting young workers], compared to new product development.

‘Attracting them via social media’

“But, I think they could do more in attracting them via social media. Most people haven’t really thought about doing food manufacturing. Most people at our university enjoy doing new product development. So, they could do a lot more to become more attractive to younger food technologists.”

The winner’s comments came after Yasai Caulirice Sushi was crowned winner of the Ecotrophelia UK 2017 competition, at Campden BRI Day on June 7. Yasai Caulirice Sushi will now enter the European competition, which will be judged on November 21 and 22.

The winning product was a low-calorie version of sushi, which used cauliflower rice instead of usual rice.

Law said: “The inspiration for Yasai Caulirice Sushi came after being given the challenge to create a ready-to-eat product that would provide two of your 5-a-day. We looked into the growing trends of veganism, and replacing carbohydrates with vegetables to create a lower calorie food.

‘Innovative recipe’

“Rather than creating yet another salad, we chose Sushi – which is growing in popularity – and our innovative recipe now makes this choice a healthier option.”

Elsewhere, the Lagom Veg team from Nottingham Trent University took home the silver prize. Windfall Fruit Jelly, from London Metropolitan University, won the bronze award.

Food Manufacture magazine editor Rick Pendrous was one of 11 industry experts judging this year’s awards.

Meanwhile, you can find out more information of this year’s Ecotrophelia UK winners, and the other award-winning teams, here.

Ecotrophelia judging criteria

Each of the finalists were judged in 10 areas, with a maximum score of 10 marks for each.

  • How innovative is the proposal?
  • How eco-innovative is the proposal?
  • Industrial feasibility
  • Market credibility
  • Nutritional characteristics
  • Food safety and conformity to European regulatory rules
  • Taste, organoleptic qualities
  • Marketing and communication plans
  • Packaging
  • General presentation

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