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Spinach ice-cream, avocado milkshakes and other food innovations entice palates

Media release

Spinach ice-cream, avocado milkshakes and cheese rocks are just some of the innovative food products created by Curtin University of Technology students for an inaugural awards presented by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) .

The 2009 DAFWA Student Food and Beverage Awards will be held on 5 November to recognise the most innovative new food products created by Curtin’s food science and technology students.

Curtin’s School of Public Health, Dr Ranil Coorey, said he was very impressed with the new products the students had developed as part of the Food Processing and Preservation unit.

“The students have been very creative and their products include healthy snacks, both savoury and sweet, like chips made from chia – a seed that is the highest known plant source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, and two innovative breakfast bars,” he said

“One of the breakfast bars targets those suffering multiple allergies and the other combines granola with fruit that can assist people with meeting the ‘two fruit and five veggies’ recommendation of the government.

“Other particularly interesting snacks include the ‘cheese rock’ which combines cheese with a cookie, and also a cheesy fish ball which is an Asian style product targeted at the Western palate.

“They’ve also developed a range of sweet foods such as fried ice-cream, date ice-cream, spinach ice-cream, frozen yoghurt bites, and a high fibre dessert made with pistachio and saffron that can be targeted toward the middle-east market.

“Beverages have not been left out and these include avocado shakes in different flavours, berry flavoured oat-based breakfast drinks and a healthy barley-leaf drink.”

The Food Processing and Preservation unit has been introduced to meet industry demand for skilled professionals who could create and develop new consumer products.

“Curtin is the only university in WA to offer food science and technology as an undergraduate degree and we have strong ties to the local food industry,” Dr Coorey said.

“This component of the new unit has been designed in consultation with DAFWA to help students become independent researchers who can think outside the box and be bold when it comes to developing new products.

“The industry needs professionals who can develop innovative products that will be not only be exciting for consumers but have the potential to be commercially exported as well.”

This year 49 students have created more than 24 new products that will be evaluated for the Awards.

The awards will be held on Thursday 5 November from 10am – 12pm at Curtin’s Bentley Campus.

Dr Debby Cousins, Deputy Director General, Industry Development Services at DAFWA will present the awards to the students.

Finished food products created by the students will be on display.

Note to Editor: Media are invited to attend the awards and photo opportunities will be available. Please contact Ann Marie Lim on 08 9266 4241 or ann.lim@curtin.edu.au if you would like to attend.

Media Contact: Ann Marie Lim; Public Relations; Curtin; 08 9266 4241; 0401 103 532; ann.lim@curtin.edu.au