Budding Dieticians and Nutritionists get a taste of university life

As part of their Food Product Development Higher Unit, Torry Academy pupils were invited to the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at RGU on Monday 21 November, to meet with Nutrition and Dietetics students currently working on their own Food Product Development project.

The students have been tasked with creating various products, based on briefs provided by partner food companies, including Morrisons, J. G. Ross (Bakers) and Thistle Seafoods Ltd.

Each of the students is required to take an agreed, designated role as part of the group, such as Development Chef, Food Scientist, Sensory Scientist and Finance and Marketing Advisor. They have formal team meetings at least once a week throughout the project.

At the end of the project, each group must deliver a product pitch presentation to representatives from the company whose brief they are following.

Over the past week, the students have been making physical variations of their products and the pupils from Torry Academy were invited to attend the results discussion, to learn more about each of the students’ roles in the development process.

One pupil remarked: “It’s been a really interesting experience. I’ve learned more about the amount of thought and effort that has to go into what you’d think are quite simple things, such as gluten-free products being higher in price. Anything to do with food science and development catches my interest, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the Nutrition and Dietetics course.”

The pupils were also given a tour of the food laboratories and RGU’s library by the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences’ Harriet Young, who organised the visit.

She said: “I was really pleased to see how enthusiastic the pupils were and that they took a real interest throughout the experience. The idea behind the visit was to help them in advance of their own projects, but also to give them an idea of what it is like studying Nutrition and Dietetics at university. It was also a really useful experience for our students, who seemed to relish the opportunity to tell them all about their own roles and experiences as part of this project and their degrees as a whole.”

Miss Dye, the class’ teacher at Torry Academy, said: “This has definitely been a worthwhile visit for each of my pupils and I’d like to thank Harriet and RGU for taking the time to show them the ropes. Several of them are interested in studying Nutrition and Dietetics, while some want to go into Sports and Exercise Science. Thanks to this link between the school and the university, in addition to helping prepare them for their projects, we’ve been able to show them how achievable those hopes are.”