Senior Project at AgroParisTech

FIPDes students from Cohort 9 at AgroParisTech are currently working on their Senior Project.
Here are the toughts of a student on this subject.

You’re strolling through supermarket aisles and filling your shopping cart with so many different packaged foods and drinks in a record time, but have you ever stopped to wonder how long it takes to take a single new product from concept to market? Probably not less than one year! and that’s because R&D is so complex and requires coordination between so many different disciplines. Whether it’s a new concept, a reformulated product or an optimized process, the source of innovation is inexhaustible.

Working alone on a prototype in Dublin was very much enjoyable but being part of a team and tapping into each other’s creativity to improve a prototype is much more so. Brainstorming within a group of diversely-skilled people is eye-opening and mind-stimulating to say the least. With the pressure to accomplish something in a limited amount of time, we quickly understood the importance of pooling our resources to create an efficient and realistic plan to bring a kitchen-scale prototype to the industrial level.

This year, two groups of five students are working on two products: a vegan up-cycled high-fiber ice-cream cone made with otherwise wasted carrot pulp and a protein quinoa and almond-based healthy chocolate beverage. The Pulpies team’s first main challenge and “cone-cern” was the variability and microbiological safety of the by-product incorporated, but also the texture and color of the final product. The QuiProt team on the other hand, dealt with sedimentation and viscosity issues while trying to reduce the number of ingredients in the formulation. Discovering the product-process interactions hands-on was pretty awesome!

Along the way, we had the chance to discuss the evolution of our projects with various professors who brought different perspectives and angles to reflect about. During the midterm presentation on Friday October 23rd, we got to present the progress we’ve made in reformulating the products, in the presence of Francois Colomban, Food Design Director at Danone.

Up-scaling a product is not as easy as it seems, but the step-by-step approach helped us build solid foundations for successful projects. Remember, food innovation is infinite, and you need to fill the blanks that come up with a healthy balance between scientific facts and imagination.

Paula Khati, Cohort 9, Lebanon


- Updated November 2020 -