I had the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremony at CAFRE's Loughry Campus today. It was a pleasure to see the final year food students graduate with a record number of First Class Honours degrees and 2.1's. I had the privilege of teaching Advanced Food Technology to these students and was aware of how hard many of them worked. Most of the graduates have secured employment or post graduate course places and I wish them well in their future careers.

Most years I supervise several final year honours degree students and this year I was pleased to work with Hannah McCollum.

For a number of years students that I have been working with have investigated projects ranging from encapsulation of raising agents to growth of thermoduric bacteria in pasteurizers. This year Hannah continued work on the evaluation of vegetable proteins as alternatives to milk proteins in ice cream-like products. It is difficult to find vegetable proteins that are suitable for use in ice cream-like products. Even commercial non-dairy "ice cream" intended for vegans and those allergic to milk proteins tends to have a slight "beany" taste.

Hannah McCollum

Hannah who graduated with a 2.1 Honours Degree in Food Technology pictured with author.

Hannah has successfully developed an ice cream like product with non-dairy ingredients that tasted better in consumer taste panels than the non-dairy "ice cream" market leader. This product has good commercial potential and I would encourage Hannah to consider marketing the vegan "ice cream".