Food Innovation Centre



Foodprint is a multi award-winning social enterprise that run a social supermarket and redistribution network in the heart of Sneinton, Nottingham. The store first opened in 2017 and is run entirely by students from the University of Nottingham under the Enactus programme. Foodprint distributes food donated by supermarkets and stores through the charity FareShare in a bid to help cut food waste and reduce food deprivation.

Some food is close to its best before date, and bread in particular is one of the most challenging food products for Foodprint to re-use before it goes stale or mouldy. Food science students, brought in by and with support from the Food Innovation Centre, therefore, came up with a way to transform almost-stale bread into a tasty new product, which had a much longer shelf-life. This formed part of their New Product Development module which was part of their course.

Everybody in the industry is in favour of this sort of thing happening. It is in nobody’s interest that bread is wasted. I can very clearly see this product working.
Chris Hyland

Project brief

  • Identifying ways to cut food waste and utilise surplus bread
  • Design a business and marketing plan for the proposed product
  • Design packaging for the proposed product

The response

  • Based on the authentic traditional Indian dessert ‘Gulab Jamun’, the team exchanged flour for bread that had exceeded its best before date and used it to create tasty, fried dough balls.
  • They then created their own range of flavoured syrups to add to the recipe for a unique twist.

Ecotrophelia UK

The ‘Gulab Jamun’ project by the ‘Re-dessert’ team won first place at Ecotrophelia UK 2020. Ecotrophelia UK is a ‘Dragons Den’ style competition run by the IFST and Campden BRI that challenges teams of UK students to develop an innovative, eco-friendly food and drink product. The ‘Re-dessert’ team pitched their ideas to judges from top names in the food and drink industry including: Marks and Spencer, Coca-Cola, Unilever, PepsiCo, Mondelez, Nestle, Warburtons, Tesco, Food Manufacture, Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and Campden BRI.

Jennifer Rutherford, a food science student at the University of Nottingham and member of the Re-dessert team, said: “We have gained so much from our participation in the Ecotrophelia competition. Being able to develop a new and innovative product and have it reviewed by top industry professionals, is a fantastic opportunity for students hoping to embark on a career in the food industry. Our team gained invaluable knowledge which will make us more environmentally aware and highlights the role that we in the food industry must play in ensuring sustainability and reducing waste. We were thrilled to take 1st place and are looking forward to representing the UK in the European finals later in 2020!”

Benefit to the business

“Foodprint are grateful for the help provided by the Food Innovation Centre to innovatively transform surplus bread and make a new product. This is something that’s not only applicable to us, here at Foodprint, but to the whole industry. It helps tackle both the environmental side and the cost side of things, plus the social side – knowing it’s doing some good in the world. Our biggest operating cost is rent on our premises but the second is waste disposal. It is a substantial cost for us. It is really hopeful to see that new products can be created from bread waste and we are very keen to see if this can become a commercial product that might one day appear on supermarket shelves” (Chris Hyland).

Future work

The Food Innovation Centre team are now working with the Foodprint to develop saleable products for their store, based upon this project. This is an ongoing project and we will continue to update you with progress from Foodprint.

Related press releases

For details about who to contact for queries regarding the Food Innovation Centre, please visit our contact us page.