Sarah Warnes, Ujwala Subedi and Janelle Reynolds with the fruit snack they developed as part of their fourth-year food technology programme.

Sarah Warnes, Ujwala Subedi and Janelle Reynolds with the fruit snack they developed as part of their fourth-year food technology programme.

Future foods from technology students

Janelle Reynolds' bite-sized chewy feijoa balls, four in a packet, sold out within hours of their unveiling to her food technology classmates.

With fellow fourth-year Massey students Sarah Warnes and Ujwala Subedi, Ms Reynolds developed the concept for the fruity snack, developed the cooking process, marketed and finally sold the product.

She says the feijoa drops, with a real fruit centre and white-chocolate flavoured coating, were designed to sit in the same shelf-category as muesli bars as a fresher, fruitier alternative. Each drop contains a minimum of 50 per cent feijoa fruit pulp, apple pulp, locust bean gum to bind the ingredients, and preservatives.

The eight teams of food technology students used an industrial kitchen in the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health in Palmerston North to develop their individual products spicy pork meals, breakfast cereal, ice-cream snacks, heart-healthy muffins, long-life energy drinks, roasted carrot spread, and a nut-free spread alongside the feijoa drops.

The exercise is a major assignment in the students' final year, and demands that they integrate skills learnt in the previous three years. Small-scale commercial production, problem solving, marketing and budgeting extend the challenge of developing the perfect recipe. Sales are constrained to classmates friends and family because of the pilot status of the projects, but the students later develop a theoretical larger-scale model for commercial manufacture.

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