The University of Newcastle, Australia

Culinary Creations Showcased at 2016 New Food Product Development Expo

Friday, 4 November 2016

Working together in small teams, third-year Bachelor of Food Science and Human Nutrition students (pictured) presented their innovative cuisines at the New Food Product Development Expo which was held at UON’s Ourimbah Campus on October 26th.

Harnessing valuable industry advice from AusIndustry Business Advisor, Bill Hazard, and Seed Strategy & Innovation representative, Julie Jones, the teams were briefed to create a new product and an accompanying line extension, based on market evaluations and business proposals established throughout the semester.

Unique culinary products including ‘Lime Caviar syrup base’ and ‘The Good Spread with hemp or sunflower’ were presented for sampling to more than 100 guests comprising of representatives from local reputable food industry employers and government organisations, as well as UON staff and second-year students from the program. Sensory attributes, concept development and market opportunities were assessed, with industry employers querying the shelf life, packaging, processing and scientific challenges in the development of each product.

Following an evaluation of audience survey responses, the ‘Vegie Bites - Celebrating Plant Foods’ team, encompassing Kimberley Holder, Monique Preston, Megan Sharp and Amy Theodoridis, was announced the winner. In addition to achieving a 91 per cent approval rating for their product, ‘Mediterranean and Mexican bites’, the team received encouraging feedback, with one respondent declaring, “Get this product to market, I will buy it!”. The team behind the enticing ‘Soulmates Ice Cream Balls in Apple Crumble’ and ‘Peanut Butter Cookie Dough’ products was a close runner up, achieving an overall proposal rating of 88 per cent.

To enable further development of the ‘Mediterranean and Mexican bites’ brand, visual identity and elevator pitch, the winning team was invited to attend a three hour ‘Build Your Own Brand’ workshop, jointly donated and presented by Central Coast Manufacturing Connect and Restaurant Profits. In addition to providing invaluable practical experience, the prize will complement the team’s degree knowledge with skills that will enhance their likelihood of success in future catering and retail markets.

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