Final year students from Leeds Trinity University scooped the silver award at Ecotrophelia 2015, a national competition that rewards students for food innovation.

Scott Everdell, Kirsty Womack, Aaron Smithson and Katie Mahoney from the University’s Department of Sport, Health and Nutrition, wowed the panel of top food industry experts with their product, a Cauliflower-Style Rice. They were narrowly beaten to the top spot by multinational food corporation, Pepsico.

The product was judged on a range of criteria including its industrial feasibility, taste, eco-innovation and originality together with creativity and innovation and market credibility. The award entry also formed part of the students’ final year NPD module, which aims to put into practice the NPD skills the students have developed throughout their degree.

Sally Moore, Registered Dietician, Associate Senior Lecturer in Food and Nutrition said:

I am so proud of our students. They beat off fierce competition to take silver place, reflecting the quality of the product they’ve produced and its potential in the UK food market. Their stand has been inundated at the conference, with many people asking when their product will be available on the shelves. For me, their success is another testament to Leeds Trinity University’s strengths in nutrition teaching and nurturing enterprise, which are supported by our fantastic partnerships with the food industry. Our core ethos is to ensure that students are employable and ready for work once they graduate, we do this by encouraging them to go beyond their studies and get involved with events and awards to maximise their potential.

The students received a £1,000 prize at the event in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, in addition to membership of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Scott Everdell, Sport, Health, Exercise and Nutrition student and Team Manager, commented: “We can’t believe we won the Silver prize. Apparently there were only six points between us and the winning product, which is an amazing achievement. Sally’s help and support throughout the project has been invaluable. The competition has been a fantastic way to experience what it takes to develop a new product, and we’ve been so pleased to see how much interest there’s been in the Cauliflower-Style Rice already from food industry professionals at the conference. There definitely seems to be the appetite to see this product on the shelves, so watch this space!”