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TARUC students demonstrate innovation, entrepreneurship in food science competition

19th May, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: Armed with innovative thinking and entrepreneurial mindset, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC) students stormed their way to victory in the recent Malaysian Institute of Food Technology (MIFT) 10th National Food Science and Technology Competition which was held on March 17-18, 2017.

A 10-member team comprising Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Food Science students was announced as the champion team in the Innovative Food Product Development category while another student took the third place in the Oratory category.

This is the second time that TARUC has participated in the bi-annually held competition where the students from TARUC competed against more than 360 other participants from 12 institutions of higher learning.

The champion team won for themselves a hamper, plaque and certificates while the student who took the third place won for himself a certificate.

The champion team from TARUC was made up of Teow Shuh Jun, Tan Iee Rou, Teh Kaili, Lee Wee Kee, Chu Kok Hua, Yan Bee Shin, Chan Wai Han, Beh Xin Ling, Chong Yi Ning and Hue Jia Wei.

Their ingenious food invention is called “Fit Mee” which is a microwavable noodle made from repurposed food waste which conforms to the theme of the competition that is the utilisation of sustainable food source.

Besides being produced in two different flavours such as Cream Cheese Mushroom and Black Pepper Mushroom, the team also ensured that Fit Mee is a healthy food source which can be consumed by everyone including those with diabetes.

Team leader Teow Shuh Jun shared the team’s experience in participating in the competition.

“We saw this competition as a great platform for us to utilise the knowledge we have acquired from our studies in TARUC as well as to deepen our understanding of Food Science. As Food Science students, we know the importance of producing a food product which is healthy, cost-effective and sustainable,” she said.

“Although the time given to us to produce the product was only one and half months, we decided not to compromise on these three qualities and this led us to spend an extensive amount of time in the food science lab in campus to carry out many experiments and brainstorming sessions to determine what would be the best product to produce,” Teow said.

“We even roped in our friends and lecturers to test the products we came up with and to give us feedback which was very helpful for us in deciding the right type of product to produce for the competition,” she added.

“We also learnt how to maximise each other’s strength as a team as well as how to manage our time more efficiently. A lot of thought was also put in on how to make Fit Mee commercially ready, for instance the way how the noodles are packed for consumers’ convenience as well as to produce the design of the packaging,” Teow said.

“Our lecturer was of great help in providing the necessary guidance, inputs and support which motivated us further to do our best in the competition,” she explained.

Tan Iee Rou, who is another student in the team, shared some interesting insights on the team’s success in the competition.

“Right after answering all the questions posed by the judges on Fit Mee, we were told by the judges that our presentation was the only one which included a comprehensive business plan on how to market Fit Mee to consumers. This I believe gave us a competitive advantage over the rest of the teams to win the top spot,” she said.

Meanwhile, the other student who won third place in the Oratory category is Jonathan Phang Kah Wai. He did a presentation on the topic of ‘Misinformation about your product has gone viral on social media’ where he illustrated different ways of using social media to tackle misrepresentation of product facts in 10 minutes.

Explore more about May intake programmes offered by TARUC’s at its Kuala Lumpur Main Campus and branch campuses in Penang, Perak, Johor, Pahang and Sabah (088-718 481, 718 482). – PR

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