Students from across science courses at WIT were recognised for their outstanding projects throughout the year at the Science Industry Awards
Michael Whelan has won the Food Science and Innovation award, kindly sponsored by Dawn Meats for Hi-5 vegetable ice pops aimed for the children's market that he developed.
During the year BSc (Hons) in Food Science and Innovation students develop a food-related product from initial design through to formulation, packaging and marketing, culminating in showcasing the finished product to industry and the WIT community. This year the showcasing was curtailed due to Covid19 unfortunately, however students presented their products online.
5-a-day ice pops
Aware that children are often slow to eat vegetables and so can miss out on key nutrients, Michael wanted to incorporate the health benefits of vegetables with an appealing snack design to help children achieve their 5-a-day. He also realised during development that the product could be targeted at elderly people with dysphagia or similar eating disorders.
In picking Michael, the judges praised his hard work, dedication and belief in his chosen product. Paul Nolan from Dawn Meats presented the award. Paul congratulated Michael and expressed the importance of the link between industry and third level graduates in preparing the work force for the future. He is looking forward to meeting Michael in person to discuss his product innovation.
About the awards
The Department of Science at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) recently held its Industry Sponsored Awards Ceremony for 2020 via Zoom.
These awards were sponsored by Source Bioscience, Environmental Science Association of Ireland, Sanofi, Bausch & Lomb, Sofrimar, Dawn Meats, Comeragh Veterinary practice, Dairymaster, AIB and for the first time Trivium Vet.
Michael Whelan, a past pupil of the CBS Secondary School, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary is one of the Food Science students at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) to be shortlisted for/awarded the Dawn Meats sponsored award for Food Science and Innovation which take place on the 4th of June 2020
The 4th year student is studying Food Science & Innovation. “I was shocked and extremely grateful on being granted this award,” he said.
Michael explains why he was nominated for the Bursary: “During 4th year all students innovate and market a product which is unique to the Irish market. I researched, manufactured and marketed a beetroot flavoured vegetable pop. Vegetable pops are an ice-based product that contain the frozen juices from several organic vegetables. I established a niche in the Irish market for a healthy snack targeted at children and the elderly that struggle to consume the recommended 5-a-day.”
“Overall, I hope to develop my knowledge and skills as a food scientist. Ideally, I am eager to pursue a career in the nutritional aspect of the food industry. However, my main goal is to optimise the knowledge I have gained throughout this course and apply it to the food industry,” he added.