University of Nottingham: Support from Food Innovation Centre helps Bird Dust fly high with a clutch of awards

A business recently supported by the Food Innovation Centre has won a string of awards for its products.

White’s Gourmet Fried Chicken launched a new range of chicken coatings after its ‘dark kitchen’ business took a hit during the Covid pandemic lockdowns.

Members of the University of Nottingham’s Food Innovation Centre team supported entrepreneur Hamza Qureshi with expert advice – allowing him to get to market as quickly as possible with his Bird Dust brand.

In just over a year, the business has become a flying success – with a string of awards to its name.

White’s Gourmet Fried Chicken Crunchy Bird Dust recently scooped the top title in the cooking sauce and kit category of the Great British Food Awards run by Great British Food magazine.

The company also won two gold stars for its Crunchy Bird Dust fried chicken coating and one gold star for its Panko Bird Dust fried chicken coating in the prestigious Great Taste Awards, which are regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the fine food world.

In addition, the Bird Dust Crunchy Fried Chicken Coating has just been awarded the title of Best Cooking Ingredient in the Quality Food Awards and was a runner-up in the Quality Food Awards 2021 Product of the Year category and Small Producer of the Year category.

The company has been flying high in recent months. As a result of demand, White’s Gourmet Fried Chicken has added new flavours to its range, introduced new re-branded packaging and has expanded into a unit at Lenton Business Centre on Lenton Boulevard to cope with sales.

It’s always fantastic to hear about the success of a business that has been supported by the Food Innovation Centre and we congratulate Hamza on winning so many prestigious awards for his products. We’re delighted that we were able to help him at the start of his journey and look forward to watching the progress and future development of White’s Gourmet Fried Chicken Bird Dust.
Richard Worrall, head of the Food Innovation Centre,
The Food Innovation Centre, based at the Bioenergy and Brewing Science building at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus, offers free support to eligible small and medium-sized food and drink manufacturers in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire under the Driving Research and Innovation project – a three-year project that runs until the end of December 2022. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the D2N2 LEP, the project is run by the Food Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham School of Biosciences, in conjunction with the Chemistry Innovation Laboratory in the School of Chemistry and Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and in association with the Midlands Engine. It is a unique collaboration project that provides free specialist innovation support to small and medium-sized businesses.

I couldn’t be more thrilled that our products have already won so many awards. It’s a real feather in our cap and a ringing endorsement for the quality and flavour of our Bird Dust range. I’m really grateful for the support the Food Innovation Centre gave me.
Hamza Qureshi, Bird Dust creator
The initial Bird Dust range of signature seasonings was launched last year and with the addition of new flavours recently, it now includes six options – Crunchy, Panko, Spicy Reaper, Smokin Chipotle, Jammin Jerk and Poppin Pakora. The packs are sold in more than 40 shops across the UK, in places as far afield as Dublin, Newcastle, Cardiff and London, as well as online via a webshop, Amazon and Ebay. They are available in a variety of sizes, including 1.2kg packs, which provide 25 to 30 servings. Hamza has also developed 22kg catering tubs for foodservice customers.

Local stockists include the Snobby Butcher in Sherwood, Mike Maloney Butchers and Bakers at the Engine Yard at Belvoir Castle, and Hafiz Supermarket in New Basford.

The Bird Dust range of coatings for chicken contain no e-numbers and no monosodium glutamate (MSG) and can be cooked in different ways, such as frying, baking or air frying, depending on the flavour selected. Although primarily designed for chicken, they are suitable for vegans and can also be used to coat plant-based options and meat alternatives, as well as fish – making them super versatile in any kitchen.

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