Scottish university goes gluten-free

University collaboration signals recipe for success for Edinburgh food firm

An Edinburgh-based food company has its sights set on healthy growth after extending its research and development capability via a partnership with a Scottish university.

Gluten-free food specialist, Genius Foods, has entered into a partnership with the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation at Queen Margaret University (QMU), where its team is now operating from a specialist new food science laboratory. With a strong research background in supporting the development of Scotland’s food and drink businesses, Genius Foods identified QMU as the academic partner with the most suitable facilities for developing its own recipes and product range.

Food scientists at QMU have provided expert training to the Genius Foods team on ways to measure the texture, colour and flow properties of its products using specialist equipment. Genius Foods will also have access to the Centre’s fully-equipped sensory suite facility, which allows experts to measure people’s perceptions of food and drink products’ attributes, including appearance, aroma, texture, flavour and after taste.

ABOVE: Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, Founder of Genius

QMU’s team of food innovation experts regularly provide its clients with consumer focus groups, taste panels, nutritional analysis and shelf-life testing. Dr Julien Lonchamp from QMU’s Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation, said: “We’re very pleased to be providing specialist research and development facilities and training for Genius Foods. The specific combination of sensory and analytical facilities that we offer at QMU was previously unavailable elsewhere in Scotland, so research work was often sent to England or Northern Ireland instead. Through practical innovation support and creative business solutions, QMU is continuing to help leading food and drink businesses, like Genius Foods, with new and innovative product development.” 

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, Founder of Genius, added: “The partnership with Queen Margaret University demonstrates our ongoing commitment to producing market-leading gluten free bakery products. While an element of our R&D will remain in-house, we are working in partnership with the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation, which will enable us to have an even deeper understanding of the behaviour of our core ingredients. We look forward to working with QMU to take our recipes and product range to the next level.”

The Scottish Centre for Food Development & Innovation is enhancing Scotland’s position as a leader in food and drink innovation in Europe and supporting access to the global market for healthy and functional food.  Facilities include a dedicated chemistry laboratory and a technology room for industry to test new technology.  

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