It was absolutely crazy last month but it was wonderful to see you all celebrating science at the Festival of Discovery. And so many budding scientists too! It was amazing to see so many children and their parents taking an interest in the MilaCel project and I’d like to thank each of you for your overwhelming support and the positive feedback on what we have achieved and the foods you tasted. Hopefully you will see MilaCel reduced-fat products in schools and on shelves in the near future. Fingers crossed!
Over the 2 days, Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st Junes, we managed to collect a massive 336 tasting results from 170 families for your cake and sausage sample sessions, with over 250 tastings with children. This was a fantastic way for us gather so much detailed feedback on public opinion to the MilaCel Project, especially from our favourite audience. After analysing these result, it has been show that of the 146 children who tasted the cake samples, almost 75% either preferred the lower fat cake or had no preference and over 80% of the children said that they would happily eat the MilaCel reduced fat and reduced sugar cake if it was served to them at school. For the sausage samples, 105 children tasted the samples and over 65% said that they either preferred the lower-fat option or couldn’t tell the difference and 77.1% said they would happily eat the MilaCel reduced fat sausage if they were served at school.
Another benefit from capturing the data over the two days came from recording all of the positive comments from parents and guardians too. We had many parents asking if MilaCel was available commercially and a lot of support for use in school meals. It was really fantastic to learn of the effort that the parents who we interviewed make to ensure that their children have a healthy diet. Many parents were impressed with MilaCel’s ability to replace fat without affecting the taste of the foods they tried and happy with the thought of tasty, reduced fat foods. Some parents also commented on the other benefits of using MilaCel as an ingredient in food recipes. A few parents asked about its use in gluten-free and vegetarian products and were happy to learn that the fibre was both gluten-free and vegan. Another group of parents were happy that the fibre was not synthetic or chemically altered in processing. One thing that we always try to emphasize is that MilaCel Functional Dietary Fibre is a food ingredient, not an additive.
We also offered samples of our low-fat, low-sugar yoghurt over both days, which is still in development, to gather feedback on how the yoghurt could be improved. However, the feedback we gathered was staggeringly positive with over 90% of people tasting saying that they enjoyed it. Even a person who usually disliked yoghurts tried our sample and enjoyed it.
One thing we can say is that the time at the Festival of Discovery event was an incredible experience. The Pennotec team would like to thank the support of Bangor University for arranging the event and the Biocomposites centre for inviting us to demonstrate the MilaCel SBRI project and the advantages of using MilaCel in healthier food items.