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Pectin from okra pods paper wins Food Group Young Scientist Competition

okra photo by j m prouty

29 Apr 2013

On the evening of 24 April 2013 around 20 people gathered at the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds to hear presentations from six undergraduate and four post-graduate students from northern universities competing for this annual competition sponsored jointly by SCI's Food Group and by the IFST North of England Branch.

A panel of judges, (including Andy Kerridge, Chair of Food Group) assessed the presentations for originality and innovation, presentation style, the results and conclusions, and how well the student had demonstrated the applicability of their work. The presentations were of a high standard, and the students covered a wide range of projects across the whole field of food science and technology, from nutrition to microbiology to sensory evaluation.

The wining post-graduate student was Katerina Alba (University of Huddersfield) and her subject was 'The Use of Pectin Extract from Okra Pods as an Emulsifier in Acidic Food Environments'. Katerina was also the audience's choice for best presentation overall.

The prize for best undergraduate presentation was awarded to Emma Smith (Teesside University) who presented on 'Development of a New Ready to Eat Product Suitable for Followers of the FODMAP Diet'.

food competition winners and judges 2013

All students received cash prizes, and the winners were also given a year's free membership of both SCI and the IFST. Both the winners have been invited to join the Food Group's Young Ambassador programme and its organising committee.

The presentations were followed by a buffet and an opportunity for further questions. Once again, it was an enjoyable and successful Young Scientist Competition evening.

The top picture shows a cross section of an okra pod.

Andy Kerridge
Chair
Food Group

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