L I O N ’ S D E N MEET Ninna Granucci Every year several million tonnes of fruit and vegetable by-products are produced by the food and beverage industries worldwide. It has been estimated that 15 to 50% of fruits and vegetables end up as waste. MEET F R O M G R E E N S P O T Campbell Ellison F R O M C O C O C H I L L The idea for Coco Chill sprouted from a group project in the fourth year of my Food Technology degree where we were required to develop a dairy-free soft serve and produce it for fellow students. 26 www.foodtechnology.co.nz This required deciding what to use as a replacement for the milk products and formulating the recipe before developing the safety procedures and carrying out production runs. When it came to actually running the mix through the soft-serve machine, the product was too thick and froze solid in the chilling chamber, requiring us to dissemble and clean it multiple times. Eventually, we thinned the mixture out and finally had some success. There were many lactose-intolerant students who said that there was a massive gap in the chilled desserts for those avoiding dairy. This is where the idea for Coco Chill came from. I developed a range of mousses, custards and panna cotta that were allergen-free (containing no gluten, soy, egg, nuts and, of course, dairy). I entered a business plan into the Massey University’s Go Innovate competition and had to present to a Dragon’s Den panel to make it to the final where I was awarded them unsuitable for the vegan and gluten the people’s choice award. Although I didn’t win the overall award, I was granted a Bursary to attend the Massey University e-centre’s ‘Sprint’ course for budding entrepreneurs. This course taught me many things about starting a business. Recently, I watched ‘That Sugar Film’, where Australian man Damon Gameau uses himself as a guinea pig to demonstrate the danger of added sugar in the diet. This led to me removing sugar from all my products and making them low carbohydrate. I used the natural sweetener Stevia to provide sweetness in some products. I decided to start smaller initially and develop a customer base before reaching for the larger market. I approached various cafes and restaurants and have had good feedback and uptake. Like us on Facebook, and we will tell you where your nearest stockist is.” Green Spot specialises in the maximal conversion of fruit and vegetable by-products into high added-value product. We believe that all natural resources need to be explored, taking into consideration the environmental, social and economic impact. Current natural ingredients used to manufacture healthy packaged food, mainly those that are a source of proteins, are usually associated with fat/ cholesterol or contain high energy carbohydrates such as starch or simple sugars. Alternative products are either obtained from animal sources or gluten-containing plants, which make Age: 29 Currently: PhD student in biotechnology at University of Auckland Aims: To take our product to the global market and continue to use biotechnology for developing new products Contact: ngra991@ aucklanduni.ac.nz More info: www.metabolomics. auckland.ac.nz Age: 24 Currently: Production planner Aims: I would like to see my products available in specialty food shops and boutique supermarkets, and potentially exporting in the future. Contact: c.ellison@ outlook.com More info: www.cocochill.co.nz If you are a young food technologist with a great idea that you are developing, let us know and get your product or service pitched through the Lion’s Den. Contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. intolerant markets. Our first product, Ample Apple, is flour produced from apple pomace, an abundant food-grade by-product of the juice industry. Ample Apple flour is rich in proteins, dietary fibres, vitamins and minerals, and is ‘low calorie” because of its very low sugar and fat content. Most importantly, it is gluten and cholesterol free, with no trace of animal-derived components. The idea for the company came from a PhD project and the desire to explore the commercial potential of biotransformation of fruit and vegetable by-products. We are one of the first PhD projects to be funded by the Bioresource Processing Alliance, a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment initiative to create value from biological waste. We have another year to optimise and tune the process and plan to expand to other fruits and vegetables to produce flours with different characteristics but keeping the naturally health attribute. LUCKY SUBSCRIBER Jeremy Dixon from Alive Foods wins a pack of products from Coco Chill.
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