Harper Adams University: Expert assesses Food students’ innovative new meals for young people

The BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Product Development second year undergraduates were set a brief by Quorn to design meals – for a dedicated target audience. Quorn’s Lead Home Economist Kate Snow was then invited to spend a day at the specialist kitchen facilities at the Harper Adams Food Academy to assess the results.

Senior Lecturer Rachel Hilton, who developed the brief for the students with Kate, explained: “I’ve worked with Kate and Quorn for some time – they are really supportive of students and student projects.

“The brief we set our students this time was to develop a product using Quorn which would be suitable for a student – and which could be potentially added to the menu in a student cafeteria. They went away and researched, finding out what students wanted – and then Kate came along to review their ideas.”

Each group of students cooked their meals from scratch during the day using Quorn products – with a range of vegetarian and vegan meals on the menu – from breakfast bakes to multi-coloured beetroot-based pasta dishes.

As each dish was completed, Kate tested the meals, offering advice on how they could be refined and discussing with students how they had developed their dishes and the ideas behind them.

Kate Snow, Senior Home Economist at Quorn Professionals, said: “It’s inspiring to see food professionals of the future cooking with Quorn as an ingredient, and creating such exciting meat free dishes with it.

“Quorn’s mission has always been to provide delicious and nutritious meat free meals that are better for the planet, and we love working with young chefs to further drive this message.

“The versatility of our products means that it’s so simple to incorporate into traditionally meat-based dishes, but I loved seeing the range of creativity from these students.”

Rachel is hoping to follow the successful event with further product development sessions with Quorn with next year’s students.

She added: “This was an excellent example of an industry relevant project which is great for our students – and by seeing the kind of things which current students want and the trends they’re picking up on, it could also help Quorn too!

“Getting the chance to work with a leading food industry figure like Kate, hearing her feedback and getting her insight – as well as of course researching and developing their meals – meant this whole process was an invaluable insight for our students.”