This month has been a big one for everyone involved in the future of the project and the production of the functional fibre. With the help of the Food Technology Centre, Llangefni, we were able to secure a space in the biggest summer show of the region.
The Anglesey Show, which took place at the Mona Showground on the 14th-15th of August, had a footfall of 30,000 people on the opening day; many of which were families with young children. The show involved many events, including cattle competitions, show jumping, agricultural and baking competitions in the show tent and many stands selling high end crafts and local produce. We were lucky to be in the centre of it all, trialing the first stage of our project with young children and raising awareness with interested parents. It took weeks, with help from the Centre of Activity and Eating Research at Bangor University, to prepare the plan and materials required to push forward with our first large scale tasting trial; a task the team had not experienced before. However, the results from the show trial proved to be a great success.
The day before the show, in the Food technology Centre test kitchen, the team were working hard to create over 140 muffins (half full-fat and half 30% fat reduced) ready to be transported to the showground for the following day. These muffins were then paired together to be used in a blind taste test with families with young children to see if the children had any preference between the muffins sampled.
On the day of the show 126 people tasted the muffins in a blind trial, 69 of them being children. After sampling both muffin types, almost half of the children had no preference on either and the preference to each type was almost identical. This is a significant result as 72% of the children involved in the trial either preferred the MilaCel product, or had no preference. A total of 29 people offered reasons as to their preference of the fat reduced muffin and there was no unanimous reason. In fact, the majority of people who preferred the MilaCel option said that it had more of a moist crumb in comparison to the full fat variety.
Another positive result that came from this trial was the amount of interest shown by parents about the project and the influence it could have on their children. Many parents agreed that they would be happy to see a fat-reduced option available to school caterer and some told us why, based on what the MilaCel fibre, as a product, had to offer; whether it was for health reasons, or because of the ‘clean, holistic’ method in which the functional fibre was produced.
This was a great result for the project, as it showed that the fat-reduced product could stand up to the full-fat, control and it also exhibited parents interest in the project.The team want to offer a massive thank you to both the Centre of Activity and Eating Research at Bangor University and the Food Technology Centre at Coleg Menai for their help and guidance throughout the entire period. Without their support and knowledge this would not have been possible. For any more information on The Anglesey Show click on the link.