i3L Food Tech Students Get Creative to Combat Food Waste 

i3L’s Food Technology students are tackling a global issue with delicious innovation. A recent product showcase event highlighted their creativity in utilizing often-discarded parts of fruits and vegetables.

Food waste is a significant global challenge, with over 30% of food lost or wasted annually. The Technology of Fruits and Vegetables (TFV) course at i3L is equipping future food scientists with the skills to address this issue. Students were tasked with developing new products using a single ingredient, with a focus on minimizing waste.

The challenge wasn’t just about creating tasty treats. Students at i3L had to get creative, finding ways to incorporate parts of the fruit or vegetable typically thrown away, such as peels, stems, or cores.

Four student groups presented their innovative solutions at the event:

  1. Group 1 gave new life to corn cobs, typically discarded after harvest. They transformed them into a flavorful batter for their “Corn Cob Corn Dog.”

  2. Group 2 offered a plant-based alternative for meat lovers. Their “Cauliflower Jerky” used the entire cauliflower, florets and all, creating a satisfying jerky with a meaty texture.

  3. Group 3 emerged victorious with their “Mangosteen Sponge Cake.” This group cleverly utilized the mangosteen pericarp (rind) in the cake batter, while incorporating the fruit itself in a delectable cream filling, minimizing waste from this exotic fruit.

  4. Group 4 showcased the versatility of bananas. Their “Banana Peel Cookie” incorporated banana peels into the dough, while the fruit itself was transformed into a delicious banana jam.

The event wasn’t just about creating unique products. Students at i3L presented their work at a poster session, judged by lecturers on a variety of criteria. This included their knowledge of the product, their ability to communicate their findings effectively, the sensory evaluation of the final product, and their understanding of the underlying food science principles. The event fostered a spirit of innovation and a focus on sustainable food practices, all while fostering a healthy dose of competition.

 

Looking Ahead: A Broader Impact for i3L

While the event aimed to showcase student knowledge to a wider audience, future iterations could involve the public. This would raise awareness about food waste reduction and inspire home cooks to get creative in the kitchen. The TFV program at i3L is a prime example of how future generations of food scientists are tackling global challenges through innovation and a commitment to sustainability.

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