Win for College Food Technologists

September 25, 2015 at 9:21 AM

College students, Alexander Sames and Keegan Chessum have won the Auckland regional CREST Student Product Development Challenge! Run by The Royal Society of New Zealand and the NZ Institute of Food Science and Technology, the challenge gives teams of senior secondary school students the experience of exploring creative solutions to practical, food science and technology problems and questions. The teams work with food industry mentors for two terms, in the development of an innovative new food product.

Alexander and Keegan formed Team Bijan and were paired with food technologist, Abigayl Ayo from Kerry Ingredients. They created an Asian-inspired sesame dressing made from all natural ingredients and no artificial flavourings, thickeners or preservatives. The boys researched the salad dressing market and identified their idea as a new flavour opportunity. They carried out taste trials on their target market and established the product's pricing to ensure it could be competitive. Part of the brief was for the product to have a shelf life of 12 months, which necessitated thorough assessment of whether to use an emulsifier to stabilise the dressing and prevent it splitting.

A total of 16 teams presented their prototypes and research to a panel of judges at Sancta Maria College. Team Bijan was awarded first place for their 'outstanding product and report.' The judges also commented that the 'market research was well done,' the report had a 'nice balance of creativity and science' and was 'impressively presented.'

Another Saint Kentigern team, Burger Buddies consisting of Lucy Floyd, Rebecca Roberts, Zachary Littlejohn and Maximilian Ballard gained a highly commended award, placing them in the top five in the upper North Island. The judges said the team had a 'good grasp of food safety and designed a product that met their brief and target market perfectly.'

Congratulations to both teams!

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