A great scoop for UCB – lecturers deliver talk on ice cream at influential conference

June 2018

Food Development and Innovation lecturers Mark Ewins and Dr Sarah Santos Murphy have delivered a workshop at the Institute of Food Science and Technology’s Sensory Science conference, hosted by UCB.

Named ‘The Changing Face of Ice-cream: the Knickerbocker Story’, Mark and Sarah ran an interactive session tackling the perception, consumption and wider trends surrounding one of the nation’s favourite treats.

With a wider programme of talks by celebrated figures including Deiniol Pritchard, food scientist at Heston Blumenthal’s iconic Fat Duck restaurant, and Professor Carl Philpott, Honorary Consultant Surgeon and respected academic at the University of East Anglia, this was a crucial event for delegates from across the academic and commercial industries specialising in product development, nutrition and psychology.

The topics covered in Mark and Sarah’s workshop included the health trends affecting the current market, the way this affects the production and sale of ice cream and the behaviours driving consumption of the much-loved dessert.

As part of the exercise, participants tried four different ice creams with exactly the same ingredients, produced in the same way, but with different gelling agents – the result being four products which were vastly different in flavour and texture. A blind taste test, it demonstrated the dramatic, surprising effects changes in unlikely ingredients can have on ice cream’s overall taste.

Other sessions included a talk from Dr Martin Kern, Director of Sensory and Marketing Research at Eurofins Worldwide, on consumers’ impressions of feeling good and positive wellbeing in relation to food and drink across the world, and a lecture on the principles of developing healthy products without compromising on taste, cost and ease of use by Felix Kormelink and Melanie Pitout of global R&D at MARS.

Third-year Food Development and Innovation student Ben King said: “Mark and Sarah’s workshop was both interesting and highly relevant.

“The event, as a whole, brought some really thought-provoking insights into the future and application of sensory science to improving the health appeal of food. It was an important day for all of those interested in the work of the Institute of Food Science and Technology and the trends affecting food consumption today.”

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