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Durban - A cider made from jackfruit and an energy-boosting chewing gum are some of the novel food products Durban University of Technology (DUT) students introduced to the world this week.
Because alcohol features high on the social agenda of students one group came up with Fruity Jack, a cider made from jackfruit.
The products were created for World Food Day, celebrated on October 16 every year.
Students used a whole jack fruit, water, yeast, and a few other ingredients to produce six litres of Fruity Jack. Asked why they aimed for an eight percent alcohol content, one of the students involved in its development, Precious Gumbi, answered: “We prefer to buy one six pack and then you get drunk.”
The products were unveiled at DUT's biotechnology and food technology department. Also on offer was a chicken spread, a porridge made from amadumbies (also known as taro), and soy yoghurt and ice cream.
The students had to present samples for tasting, describe how they made their product, explain why they believed it would be a market winner, and the problems they encountered in producing it.
X-plosion, a blue chewing gum, could have the makers of energy drinks worried with its levels of caffeine, ginseng, and guarana. The students who made it believe they are the first in South Africa to produce an energy-boosting gum. Two pieces of their gum is the equivalent of a cup of coffee.
An iced tea made from the rumex acetosella plant (common sorrel) was also presented. Melissa Jula, one of the students involved in its manufacture, said it had been decided to use the plant as it grows wild.
“Where I come from we eat it and it is known as sour grass.”
According to the students they believed that T-ICED (SUBS: CORR) could be made at an affordable R5.95 for 500ml.
World Food Day is celebrated to honour the date of the founding of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945. The theme for this year is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”.