Nottingham Ice Cream (N-Ice) is a delicious, fortified ice cream designed as a nutritional supplement for elderly patients in hospital.
Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) has the busiest trauma centre in the UK and a large proportion of these patients are over 75. Students at the University of Nottingham discovered that elderly patients at NUH were struggling to meet their nutritional requirements, so the idea of N-Ice was born!
The ice cream was designed under direction of Professor Opinder Sahota as a new product development (NPD) project by students at the University of Nottingham. The Food Innovation Centre was asked to help move it towards commercialisation.
The Food Innovation Centre have been pivotal in the development of the Nottingham high protein ice cream project, supporting the concept to product development. The team have continued further support and looking to help with commercialisation, which will have a significant impact towards improving patient care.
- Improve the texture and nutritional profile of the ice cream.
- Establish next steps for production for hospital trials.
- Identify any competitor products for benchmarking.
- The product was further developed from the student project to improve the texture. It was also fortified with vitamin D to an appropriate level. Samples were produced in the food production facility at the university and guidance given on sensory evaluation.
- Options for production were outlined - produce in the hospital, use an existing commercial supplier or set up own production.
- Market research was undertaken to identify similar products already sold in the UK - only fitness products targeted at young women were found. Research also compared the nutritional content of ice cream products targeting the elderly found in other markets (Ireland & USA).
Benefit to the business
Since working with Food Innovation centre N-Ice Cream has begun production at Dreamy Cow Farmhouse Ice Cream. This has enabled trials on hospital wards to evaluate patient compliance in consuming fortified ice cream rather than liquid supplements. N-Ice Cream have also gone on to win the Medipex NHS Innovation Awards. Support is still ongoing to achieve full commercialisation.