A Nottingham University student team called The Green Feathers has secured the gold prize at the 2022 edition of Ecotrophelia UK, a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style competition challenging university students to create environmentally conscious food and drink products.
The students won the prize with their ‘Cracker(ed) it Crackers’, made from a mixture of oat by-products and fruit that would otherwise go to waste after being used for vinegar production.
Each member of the winning team received a share of the £2,000 prize, as well as an invite to become an Institute of Food Science and Technology Young Ambassador.
Other winners from the competition include Manchester Metropolitan University’s ‘Fortifiber’ team, which secured the silver prize and £1,000 with their ‘FiBAR’ – a high fibre cereal bar made with apple, mango and orange peels left over from fruit industry production.
The bronze award of £500 went to Nottingham Trent University’s ‘Avena Grains’ team for ‘Granola Infusions Superberry’ – a sustainable granola to eat on-the-go, made using waste from oat drink production. It doesn’t need to be stored in a fridge, and the packaging is 100% recyclable.
This year marked the 10th edition of the Ecotrophelia competition, which was first established by Campden BRI and the IFST – a professional body for people working in the food science and tech sector.
The finalists presented their ideas to judges from a range of big industry names including Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Nestlé, Warburtons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Unilever, Mondelez, Campden BRI and the IFST.
Laura Hill, Captain of The Green Feathers team and a food science student from University of Nottingham said: “We are honoured to be awarded gold in the UK finals, every team in the final had fantastic products and exceptional standards.
“It was wonderful to have the opportunity to go to Tesco to present our crackers and meet the dragons and other finalists in person.“
The Green Feathers team will now compete for a €6,000 prize against 20 teams from across Europe at the Ecotrophelia European final, taking place in Paris in October 2022, alongside the SIAL trade show.
“We are so excited for Paris; we can’t wait to meet all the teams and find out about their products and present our crackers!” added Hill.
Bertrand Emond, Membership Ambassador, Professional Development and Culture Excellence Lead 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.
“Around 500 students from 22 different universities across the UK have now taken part since 2013 and we are very grateful for the continued support that the competition receives from the industry sponsors.
“Innovation and creativity is essential for the continued success of the food industry and Ecotrophelia helps to achieve this.”