Taylor's University Showcases Innovative And Efficient Food Product Development Methods

Industry partners are the first to experience Innovations by Taylor’s Culinology© Students

Taylor’s University School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts (TCHT) put the innovation of its students in the spotlight at the inaugural Culinology© event, ‘From Ideas to ProtoCept in Record Time - Culinology© 4.0: The Next Wave in Asia’. The event, held at the Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus, was a joint initiative with the Research Chef’s Association of USA.

The Culinology© event aspires to bridge the gap between the education and industry by sharing innovative and efficient alternatives, which could greatly benefit local industry players. As part of the Culinology© week at Taylor’s University, students were led by Research Chef Association (RCA) representatives - Professor Dr. Michael Cheng and Associate Professor Dr. Samir Amin from Southwest Minnesota State University, USA - to create an innovative food product that can be mass-produced; taking concept, development and commercialisation into account with a record time of just three days.

Among the companies present at the event to experience the first-of-its-kind, innovative food product presentation and sampling were Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB); Lee Kum Kee; Dutch Lady; agriculture and food product manufacturer, PAP Cashnet Prima Agri; global ingredient solutions provider, Ingredion; and the Halal Development Corporation.

The food innovations presented by the students included Avocado Grenade, which is a deep Fried Avocado Ball with Pepper Chicken and Jalapeno Cheese Sauce; Spicy Pepper Beef, which is Stir Fried Spicy Beef Strips served with White Rice and Pickled Vegetables; Chickone, a Cone Pastry Filled with Potato and topped with Fried Chicken Mousse Ball Cushioned by Gelled Smoked Red Pepper Sauce. Also featured was Tropical Lava made from Pandan (Screw pine); Flavored Sticky Rice with Coconut Milk Topping, Mango Cubes and Toasted Mung Beans; and J.A.D.E. made from Rolled Pandan (screw pine) Sponge Filled with Mango Jelly, Nougatine, Bits and Roasted Pumpkin Ice Cream, Coated with Pistachio Nuts.

“We are proud to showcase the innovations of our own students to the local industry. TCHT hopes that this initiative serves as a platform which benefits both our students and industry partners towards enhancing the culinary arts scene,” said TCHT Dean, Mr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan.

One of the invited industry guests, Mr. Chua Yong Chin, National Customer Development Manager from Dutch Lady Milk Industries Berhad, was surprised to see the high standard in the students’ presentations and final products. “I was being told that the oldest of the students are only in their second year and I am very impressed with their confidence, presentation skills and even their analysis. They seem to know a lot about their product and I see a lot of creativity in them.”

“There are still rooms for improvement especially in terms of detailed research, but for something that were only created in a short span of three days, the students have definitely delivered great results.”

Taylor’s University is the first university certified by the Research Chef’s Association of USA to offer the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Culinology© through its School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts (TCHT). Originated from the philosophy that food product development should be culinary-driven, Culinology© is a unique discipline created to blend in culinary arts, food science and food technology, with the aim of efficiently and economically produce ‘convenience food’ that look and taste like foods served in a restaurant.

Students who pursue a Culinology© degree will learn subjects related to culinary arts and food science, which will allow them to master the art of cooking quality food, but also be able to scale and commercialise them, while maintaining its quality, flavour and safety as well as extending its shelf life. In short, it is about mass production of food with quality. This also includes not only frozen or instant-cooked food, but also sauces, beverages and confectionaries. This programme is an emerging discipline, which will significantly impact food research and development in the global market especially in Asia.

Mr. Neethia expressed his pleasure at the success of the Culinology© event in highlighting potential talent of these culinologists to the industry players. He said, “This is a proud moment for Taylor’s University and the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary arts. This event is a testament to our aspiration to be an active contributor to innovation in the industry. I am optimistic that, moving forward, TCHT and our industry partners will be able to take this a step further in commercialising these innovations to enhance the quality and efficiency of food production.”