Undergraduates at Harper Adams University were set a brief by plant protein company Quorn to design meals for young people.
An expert from the company gave the culinary creations of the BSc (Hons) food technology and product development second years the once over during a visit.
Quorn’s lead home economist Kate Snow spent a day at the specialist kitchen facilities at the Harper Adams Food Academy, near Newport, to assess the results.
Kate 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."
Senior lecturer Rachel Hilton, who developed the brief for the students with Kate, explained: “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 – with a range of vegetarian and vegan meals on the menu – from breakfast bakes to multi-coloured beetroot-based pasta dishes.
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.”