AIFST student product development

The winners of the 2009 Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) Student Product Development Competition are David Chua, Trevor Goltz and Sarah Crennan from The University of Queensland for their product ‘Soyers’ — Gluten free biscuits.

Highly commended went to the Chinese influenced TAI-chi Balls dessert by Tina Wong, Yuk Yue Yeung and Ivy Loh from the University of South Australia.

It is estimated 1 in 100 people are diagnosed with Coeliac disease and there is a growing trend among the general public to eat more wholesome foods which include whole seeds and grains for their perceived health benefits.

With this in mind University of Queensland students, David Chua, Sarah Crennan and Trevor Golts created the winning product, ‘Soyers’ which are soy based, gluten free ‘toppable’ biscuits aimed at gluten allergy sufferers as well as the mainstream market.

The team from the University of South Australia designed their product, TAI-chi balls, with health conscious University students and sushi lovers in mind.

They are a chewy, fresh, light ball made of a glutinous rice mixture filled with nutritious fruit fillings of mango, honeydew or mixed berries. TAI-chi balls are an adaptation of the Chinese dessert Tangyuan and designed to ‘cross the line’ between Asian desserts and a western palate as a light dessert appealing to the non-Asian market.

Each year the Student Product Development competition is open to undergraduate student members and is intended to promote professionalism and innovative thinking, while showcasing students’ originality, talent and team skills.

Both finalists received a fully funded trip to the 42nd annual AIFST convention where they were given the opportunity to present their innovation to food science and technology industry professionals.

Finalists also share $1500 in prize money from the competition’s main sponsor, Earlee Products; and can also win an additional $1000 for fruit or vegetable innovation from SPC Ardmona and $500 from Sensory Solutions for the best application of sensory techniques in their product development presentation.

Also acknowledging budding young food scientists is the Malcolm Bird Award which was won by Sara Cicerale from Deakin University in Victoria.

Sara impressed judges with her study and presentation on ‘the influence of heat on biological activity and concentration of oleocanthal’ with a focus on oleocanthal in olive oil.

For further information about the AIFST and the Student Product Development Competition or the Malcolm Bird Award, visit the AIFST website.

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