Three food technology students from Wageningen University have been awarded a prize worth € 4,000 in Cologne for their entry in the EcoTrophelia, a European competition for students of food technology. The three developed a chocolate milk drink on the basis of the quinoa plant, which can be easily and sustainably produced by local people in South-America. The quinoa drink had already won the Dutch pre-selection competition organised earlier this year by the Top consortium for Knowledge and Innovation in Agri & Food (TKI Agri & Food).
Randi Phinney, Nicolas Tsisios and Mi-jung Kim were awarded second prize for their food creation: chocolate milk made from the by-products of quinoa processing. The starch production releases a waste stream containing proteins, which is normally treated as waste water. The students developed a procedure whereby the healthy nutrients from the waste stream are separated and used as a raw material for the chocolate milk. They made the drink by adding cocoa, sugar and a pinch of salt to the half-product.
Students from eighteen European countries took part in the competition. The three Wageningen students, who come from Canada, Cyprus and South-Korea respectively, won the Dutch competition before the summer. This was organised by TKI Agri & Food as a means of raising awareness of innovation and entrepreneurship among students.
The new chocolate milk is a natural product that can be sustainably manufactured in South-America (or Europe or Canada, for example) for national consumption or as an export product. It is still at an early stage, but the students have already met with industry to discuss future possibilities for their prototype chocolate milk.
Joint press release Wageningen University and TKI Agri & Food