GCU student picks up Young Scientist of the Year title

15 April 2016

Student Kelsey Hunter is Scotland's first IFST Young Scientist of the Year

Student Kelsey Hunter is Scotland's first IFST Young Scientist of the Year

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) student Kelsey Hunter has been named Scotland’s first undergraduate Young Scientist of the Year in a competition run by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST).

The fourth-year Food Bioscience student impressed judges at the final of the competition for her project investigating the antimicrobial effect of chilli and turmeric to pick up the title and a cash prize of £200.

Kelsey was one of 12 students – six from GCU – who made it through to the final of the Young Scientist competition after being invited by the IFST Scottish Branch to submit a short abstract about a project related to food science, food technology, human nutrition, sensory science, food safety management or food consumer behaviour. It is the first time the competition has come to Scotland.

Finalists presented their projects to a panel of expert judges at the final held at Abertay University on Thursday, April 14. Kelsey was selected as the winner in the undergraduate category for her clear understanding and articulation of her project looking at the ability of essential oils in chilli and turmeric to reduce the growth of micro-organisms in food. She was also awarded the audience prize for the best presentation.

Lecturer in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at GCU Janice Taylor said: “I am delighted that Kelsey has become the first undergraduate student in Scotland to be named Young Scientist of the Year. The judges – and the audience – were impressed with her enthusiasm, knowledge and innovation, and with how her findings could be applied to industry.”

The GCU finalists were:

Kelsey Hunter, BSc Food Bioscience – Investigating the antimicrobial effect of chili and turmeric

Rachel Crawford, BSc Food Bioscience – Microbiology and Authentication of Pre-Packaged Sushi from Three Retailers of Different Market Levels

Ashleigh Conboy, BSc Food Bioscience – Investigation of the effects of fermentation and drying processes on product microbial levels during venison charcuterie production

Aysha Saeed, BSc Food Bioscience – Nutritional analysis of organic baby food

Gintare Naruseviciute, MSc Food Bioscience – Comparison of microbial quality in ready-to-eat leafy salads from a UK high street retailer at the beginning and end of their shelf life

Carmelita Correia, MSc Food Bioscience – The antimicrobial effect of silver nanoparticles on Escherichia coli