AIFST celebrates food innovations of young scientists

Posted by James Ferre on 3rd August 2009

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

The winning team just beat out Tina Wong, Yuk Yue Yeung and Ivy Loh from the University of South Australia, who were highly commended for their Chinese influenced TAI-chi Balls dessert.

It is estimated 1 in 100 people are diagnosed with Coeliac disease and there is a growing trend amongst 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 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.

Also acknowledging budding young food scientists was the prestigious Malcolm Bird Award, which was won by Sara Cicerale from Deakin University in Victoria for her study and presentation on ‘the influence of heat on biological activity and concentration of oleocanthal’ with a focus on oleocanthal in olive oil.