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Success for food science summer school at Leeds University

100% of food science summer school attendees said they understood more about food science after their time in Nottingham last year; find out more about the scheme

About this article

Food science summer schools are designed to give young people a taste of what working in areas like product development, food safety and quality is like.

There is currently a shortage of scientists studying food science and going on to use their skills and knowledge in the food industry. The food science summer schools are a way to make students aware of the variety of exciting careers and opportunities on offer.

Members of IGD’s Technical Leadership Forum (TLF) support and sponsor summer school programmes. Currently there are three summer schools at Nottingham, Reading Universities and, for the first time in 2013, Leeds University. All of these aim to inspire the next generation of food scientists.

Leeds University food science summer school

The first Leeds food science summer school took place on 24-26th June 2013. There were three jam-packed days of activities and students got a taste of  university life.

In total 38 students took part, all from sixth form year one. These students were studying science at A level and successfully completed applications as to why they should receive a free place at the summer school.

The activities

There were a range of activities to paint a picture of what studying food science involves. Leeds carefully developed the activities to demonstrate the breadth of the subject. They ranged from creative product development via smoothie making to  more complex science. This involved looking at the physics of a chocolate pudding and the effect of processing on the nutrition and sensory properties of orange juice.

They also had the opportunity to visit Fox’s biscuit factory as well as hearing from people working in the industry and spending time with new food science graduates.

The agenda:

  • Group activity on the physics of chocolate fondant puddings
  • Effect of processing orange juice on vitamin c content and sensory properties
  • Tour of biscuit factory
  • Careers talks
  • Smoothie innovation activity
  • Social event with food science graduates

Conducting titrationSmoothie innovation

The results

The summer school was a resounding success receiving great feedback. All students agreed that they would recommend it to a friend and 100% said that they understood more about food science.

“I had a really enjoyable time, my interest in food science and nutrition has definitely grown”
“It made me certain about choosing food science as a degree course”

Has it worked?

All students wanting to attend university have now had to submit their UCAS applications for their preferred courses and university. We checked to see how many of Leeds food science summer school attendees had opted to study food science and over half (55%) have applied to study food science, food science and nutrition or nutrition degrees.

What next?

All three summer schools will be running again in 2014 and offering about 150 free places in total. 

If you or someone you know is interested in attending a summer school in food science, find out more here:

Technical Leadership Forum

Technical Leadership Forum

A group set up by IGD to share knowledge and provide an informed view on emerging issues of concern to the food industry.

Nutrition, food and farming

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