A powder to control appetite, a portable food briner, and heated cutlery are some of the innovations to go on show at this year's Imperial Festival.
The Imperial Festival, happening on 6–7 May 2017, is the College’s flagship free public event, celebrating the best of science, engineering and creativity.
It is vitally important that we are fully engaged with the public so they can share the knowledge and benefits of our exciting research
– Dr Edward Chambers
Food Zone exhibitor
This year, the Festival opens an entirely new area called the Food Zone, consisting of a range of interactive stands showcasing the latest research and technologies across the food production chain, from “farm to fork”.
Healthy eating is often on many people’s minds. Earlier this year, Imperial academics announced findings that a fruit and vegetable intake above five-a-day (and ideally 10) shows major benefit in reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death.
With this firmly in mind, scientists from across the College will gather to delve into the science behind food at the Festival, including:
- A powder derived from fibre found in onion and garlic. The powder produces a natural appetite suppressing agent, which can help prevent overeating, and therefore improve bodyweight management, while still providing the benefits of a high-fibre diet. With no detectable flavouring, the powder can be added to any food, such as soups, smoothies, or cereals as part of a healthy balanced diet.
- ‘The Brinery’ – bringing fermentation into the 21st Century; an at-home fermentation vessel making the process much simpler and solving the challenges associated with current fermentation techniques. This is a collaboration project between the Dyson School of Design Engineering and the Royal College of Art.
- Cozy© cutlery – the cutlery is microwavable, making the cutlery handles warm. Designed for young children the tactile experience may slow down eating speeds, which is known to encourage healthier eating habits. This project explores how cutlery innovations could influence and help reduce childhood obesity.
- Dogan Tofu Press – an innovative product helping to make tofu taste better by pressing the water out of the bean curd. Sustainable protein for global food security is a current major challenge.
From noodles to senses
Participatory exhibits on show, as part of the Festival’s brand new Food Zone will focus on encouraging people to engage with scientific exploration and their curiosity about the natural world, and highlight the interconnectedness of humans and the environment.
- Create Your Own Noodle Dish – help rethink a recipe, use specifically designed tools to experiment with ingredients –eat the delicious creation, and take away the new recipe to try again at home.
- Why Pollinators Matter – public participation games that highlight surprise pollinators in the food-chain.
- Food Sensory Stand – a chance to explore your perception of food and how artificial and immersive taste experiences can be applied, includes simulation of taste buds (sour, sweet, salty) and a chewing simulator.
- Healthy People Healthy Planet – exploring the sustainable food systems of the future.
- Liver Imaging – fake liver displays offer visitors a unique opportunity to explain how Imperial is helping to solve common public health issues.
The importance of engagement
During Imperial Festival weekend, the world leading university throws open its doors, offering the public a chance to engage with its latest innovations, before looking at the implications of our food choices on the health of the public as a whole, and the planet we share.
Dr Edward Chambers, one of the researchers from Imperial’s Department of Medicine behind the dietary fibre powder, said: “It is vitally important that we are fully engaged with the general public so that they can share the knowledge and benefits of our exciting research findings. These events also provide an opportunity for members of the public to express their ideas to help shape future research programmes.”
The Food Zone is just one of 12 interactive zones at the 2017 Imperial Festival. The weekend-long event at Imperial’s South Kensington Campus brings together hundreds of attractions, live interactive experiments, new technology demonstrations, in-depth talks, lab tours, creative workshops and performances within zones themed around Robots, Superbugs, Health & Body, the Future, and Energy and Environment.
The Imperial Festival programme has something for all ages to enjoy, from young children ready to be inspired by the latest in scientific discoveries, to adults wanting to spend a weekend taking in cool science and technology while enjoying delicious food and a variety of music and dance performances.
Register to attend Imperial Festival (6-7 May)
The 2016 festival attracted 15,000 visitors to the College The festival is free and open to the public.
To attend just register here. By registering your attendance, you will be entered into a free prize draw to experience some exclusive historic tours around hidden parts of Imperial’s historic landmarks, as well as the chance to win Festival a goodie bag. The tours are limited and not usually open to the public so register for your chance to win.
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