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Instant Mash Wins Food Product Launch at DUT

Instant Mash Wins Food Product Launch at DUT

The Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) hosted its annual food product launch at DUT Ritson Campus Hotel School, last week.

The launch showcased novel food products developed by the Department’s final-year students. Each year, the students are tasked with researching the global food market, scrutinising the gaps that are available in the range of products being consumed by society and come up with novel food products over a period of six months.

A panel of judges from the industry assesses the students by tasting food products, looking at how professional the students were and how marketable and innovative the product is. The group project forms part of the students’ practical assignment.

“Before we do the practicals, we (DUT) first teach the students in the first semester about global food trades and towards the second semester they have to come up with two of their best ideas, and then choose the best out of the two. The second semester, we (DUT) also host ingredient and packaging workshops with the students where we invite people from the industry to tell them (students) about the different ingredients that they are going to be using and when they do finish, how they will start developing their own product ideas,” said Dr Oluwatosin Ijabadeniyi, a senior lecturer at the Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology.

He also added that the launch is to develop critical thinking skills necessary for developing food using the principles of food science and technology. Each group will need to show how it developed its product (which includes costing, packaging, shelf life determination, mass-energy balance, consumer testing and product labelling).

This year (2016), 10 groups of students showcased their delicious yet healthy inventions. The inventions varied from Rooyza Ice tea, which is an ice tea with an instinctive moringa flavour made out of plant extracts, to Ban Aestivum Bread, which is a fermented and steamed bread made from mixing wheat flour and bambara ground nut flour.

The winning food inventions for 2016 were:

Third place-Cheeky crisps, a nutritional and gluten free snack with lentils.

Second place -Daily Bites, a gluten free cracker made with natural sweet vegetables.

Overall winner and also the winner of the Most Marketable Product went to Sweet P Mash.

This is a low GI, preservative and colourant free instant mash made from sweet potatoes.

Speaking about the experience, DUT student, Mfihlelo Jev, said even though not all the groups could win, the students had thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “I have learnt a lot from this practice and I am very proud of myself for what I have achieved,” he said.

Pictured: left to right- Aaminah Ally, Yolisha Baboollall, Dr Oluwatosin Ijabadeniyi, Shamshaad Edoo and Kirthi Maharaj, at the event.

Phumeza Msongelwa and Siphephelo Sibiya

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