Ingredients supplier Macphie has partnered with local schools to give students hands-on experience at its Glenbervie factory.
Seven pupils have been given the opportunity to simulate the commercial development of new dessert sauces after joining the Macphie team for seven weeks as part of a foundation apprenticeship in food and drink technology.
The students, who are in their final year at Mearns Academy, Mackie Academy and Portlethen Academy, were given experience in different parts of the business, with the end goal being the development and creation of their own new flavours of the brand’s OTT dessert topping range.
Following a health and safety induction, an introduction to the product design team and lessons in marketing, each apprentice was tasked with carrying out their own research and creating a new dessert sauce. The pupils spent a day in the development kitchen cooking up their recipes, trialling different ingredients and taking part in group product tastings.
They were then taken through quality testing, label creation and will present their products to the senior Macphie team and product panel, who will provide the students with feedback on their concepts. If successful, students will gain a SCQF Level 6 qualification.
Sixteen-year-old Lewis Mowatt worked on the creation of a non-alcoholic mulled wine flavoured dessert topping.
“It’s been great to learn all the ins-and-outs of such a modern company,” he said. “This experience has really benefited me as I will now be able to demonstrate my knowledge of the industry to a future employer, presenting myself as a valuable member of a working team.”
Macphie technical director Mark Duncan explained that the aim of the partnership with local academies is to inspire careers in the food and drink industry and provide support for the next generation.
“It’s been a pleasure to see seven, enthusiastic young people develop their skills and get their creativity flowing,” he said. “Most importantly, this experience will help these budding new chefs and product designers as they take that next step onto the career ladder.”