01 June 2023

Abertay food scientists awarded funding to help food and drink companies make healthier products

£75K has been awarded to eight university-business collaborations across Scotland

Three research projects led by academics at Abertay University have been awarded funding as part of a drive to encourage Scottish food and drink companies to make their products healthier.

The projects received funding through the Healthier Products Innovation Fund for Scotland (HPIF) which has so far awarded £75K in total to eight collaborations between businesses and universities in Scotland.

The Abertay projects that received funding include a collaboration with BiaGo Ltd whose product Niselo is Scotland's first sorghum-based gluten-free, vegan and coeliac-friendly probiotic drinks brand. Rich in dietary fibre, sorghum offers a real alternative to oat, almond or soy milk and is packed with a wide range of essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Niselo will launch during the summer of 2023 in five exciting flavours.

The second collaboration is with Strathmore Foods, a family-run business and one of the UK’s leading ready-meal manufacturers, producing a wide range of chilled and frozen products. 

The final collaboration to receive funding is with Sutherlands of Portsoy who are one of the oldest smoked salmon producers in Scotland. Their award-winning salmon is smoked using traditional methods passed down through the same family for over 100 years. 

Developed by Interface and Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland’s Reformulation for Health Programme, the competitive fund aims to support Scottish businesses in developing healthier products by utilising the world-class knowledge base and facilities across Scottish universities, research institutes and colleges.

Joanne Burns, FDF Scotland’s Reformulation for Health Manager, said:

Since the launch of our Reformulation for Health Programme in 2019 we have had the pleasure of providing funding directly to food producers to help them make their products healthier. We are delighted for the first time to provide funding that will support innovative reformulation projects between food and drink producers and academics. I was enthused to see the range of applications and look forward to seeing the results.

Howell Davies, Sector and Business Engagement Manager, Interface, said:

It was great to see the number of applications submitted and the wide array of activity and health improvements through fortification and reformulation being proposed.  Scotland is blessed with its talent pool of academics applying their expertise to the food and drink sector and we look forward to hearing about the results of the collaborations later in the year.

Abertay's Food Science courses ranked 3rd in the UK, and top in Scotland in the Guardian 2021 University Guide. According to Unistats, 100% of our graduates are employed six months after graduating and we scored 93% for Overall Satisfaction in the 2021 National Student Survey giving Abertay the highest-scoring Food degrees in Scotland.

All our students make extensive use of the Division's well-equipped £3.5m laboratories, which provide practical experience to all our students. The Consumer Experience Laboratory is unique in Scotland and comprises of 12 climatically controlled booths designed for the sensory analysis of food and drink products.

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