Durban Tech NPD

Exciting NPD ideas from Durban food tech students

From a semi-sweet, pink-coloured ladies beer and vanilla ice cream infused with chocolate tequila, to green banana paste and black liquorice melt-proof ice cream – some of the interesting NPD ideas presented by food technology students from the Durban University of Technology in their final year presentations. The students unveiled their products at the university’s Food Products Launch recently and invited the public and four judges from the food industry to treat (and challenge) their tongues.

“The students were tasked to come up with concepts for food ideas that can be mass produced and made commercially available,” said food technology lecturer Mike Smith. “These products had to be thoroughly researched, innovative, nutritious, well-packaged and flavoursome. About 11 of the 12  food concepts, to the best of our knowledge, are brand new.”

The top prize of R3 000 was awarded to Cassandra Uys and Naledi Mhlabelwana for their Rooi-brans product, a snack made from rooibos-flavoured and infused bran. It is available in banana, vanilla and strawberry flavours and is caffeine-free.

Second place went to Matimba Khosa, Khulekani Gumbi and Siyabonga Buthelezi for their Nutri Milk Stout beverage, a Guinness-like stout that is low in alcohol and filled with 27 vitamins and minerals.

Third place went to Cleo Pillay, Shanice Naidoo, and Bhavna Rampath for their non-alcoholic, traditional West African brew of amarula fruit, called Maltarula. The drink contains 11 vitamins and is the only South African produced amarula-flavoured beverage that is not a liqueur. Second and third place winners received R1 000 each.

One of the more popular items on display, and winner of the best science and technology award, was a black liquorice melt-proof ice cream. Created by Amanda Thwala, Bonokuhle Mqwa and Siyathokoza Nzimande, the ice cream is made with a specialised starch that maintains its shape and solidity. It’s made with liquorice plant extract and is low in calories.

After filling up on ice cream, guests could refresh themselves with Rooi-ed, a Rooibos energy drink. Created by Shivon Siphali, Rosanna Naidoo, and Bhavta Bhagwandeen, the drink is designed to provide enhanced energy using boosters such as ginseng and guarana.

Other products included gluten-free bread, a low-fat, flavoured peanut butter alternative, reduced kilojoule maple syrup, and whole-wheat fruit slabs, made from shredded oats, fruit, nuts and honey.

The students will now try to license and market their products and hopefully sell them commercially.

“We want to encourage consumers to move away from pre-conceived ideas about new products and break away from brand loyalty,” said Smith.

“We are striving to test the market with new, interesting ideas.”

CAPTION: Mishal Pillay, Simone Beeharie and Sarisha Devnath present their Pink Fantasy ladies beer.