High school students are food product development pioneers

September 2015

Year 11 students from Brooke Weston Academy have been experimenting with food product development in UCB’s new Food Science and Innovation Suite. 

The students took a tour of the university’s state-of-the-art facilities before doing some sensory analysis testing in the laboratory, sampling pieces of chocolate in the self-contained testing booths and describing their appearance, aroma, texture and flavour. This enabled them to gain an understanding of this element of food product development and how it works in practice. 

They were also given a practical demonstration in the ‘Innovate It’ kitchen, where Chef Schumacher showed them how to make a ‘healthier’ pancake by substituting staple ingredients for alternative options based on dietary requirements, allergens and current consumer trends.

Accompanying the students was the academy’s food technology teacher Natasha Chiremba, a UCB alumnus who studied Culinary Arts Management before qualifying as a teacher to share her knowledge and passion with students with interests in food product development. 

“Our students thoroughly enjoyed their visit to UCB, particularly their experimentation with sensory analysis,” said Natasha. “The whole experience was very worthwhile as they will be able to use what they have learned to help them with their controlled food product assessment and this hands-on trip will enable them to remember vital information for their final exam next year. 

“I knew the students would get a lot from spending time at UCB as I gained so much from my time studying at the university; the lecturers, courses and opportunities at UCB are second to none.”