Poly team creates award-winning mango pudding
Students' creation beats international firms
Imagine being able to eat a pudding guilt-free.
Meet Mangolina, the brainchild of seven students from Nanyang Polytechnic's (NYP) Food Science and Nutrition course and Visual Communication course.
Last month, this mango milk pudding became an international winner when it won the Best Dairy Dessert Award at the 2015 World Dairy Innovation Awards, held in Amsterdam.
It was the final year project of four Food Science and Nutrition students, who graduated this year.
The dessert was created through a combination of techniques including molecular gastronomy - a technique popularised by celebrity chefs like Heston Blumenthal, and is presented with child-friendly packaging.
Miss Janessa Tan, 19, a third-year visual communication student who helped create the unique packaging, said: "It is designed to draw children as the pudding was created to be an attractive health supplement."
Unlike conventional mango pudding, the dessert has a low-fat skimmed milk base packed with green chendol-inspired pieces of Spirulina, an algae-based ingredient often labelled as a "superfood" due to its high levels of anti-oxidants.
Miss Fiona Tan, 20, said that some sugar was used to remove the seaweed taste of the Spirulina, but it was only a small amount so the dessert is still healthy.
The awards saw close to 220 entries from 30 countries. NYP was the only educational institution to enter.
It is the third time in six years that NYP students have beaten international F&B giants in the contest.
This year they faced Meiji and Unilever, companies behind popular desserts such as Meiji yogurt and Magnum ice cream.
Mangolina was created last year, and the students spent almost four months - from April to August - to perfect their concoction.
But their journey was not as smooth as their dessert.
Three weeks into the project, the team had been set on creating a sponge cake instead of a pudding.
The mango flavour, however, was a unanimous decision.
Miss Tan explained: "We wanted a common flavour and mango is healthier than chocolate."
The pudding presented a challenge and needed 10 trials to perfect the texture.
Team member, Mr Abdul Wafid, 24, said: "We tried a lot of thickeners, but some didn't even set the pudding."
Integral to their recipe for success were the lecturers.
The students were quick to thank them for going above and beyond class time to motivate them.
Lecturer and team mentor, Ms Lena Ling, 39, said: "We were not so concerned about winning.
"Rather, it was an opportunity for students to learn about the research process."