EU Funding - 08 June 2020

Food Innovation Centre experts help Nottingham ice lolly producer

The University of Nottingham’s Food Innovation Centre has helped create an innovative new ‘Freeze-at-home’ ice lolly in partnership with a Nottingham-based start-up.

Nottingham entrepreneur Isaac Greenway-Tambini enlisted the help of food scientists at the University of Nottingham’s Food Innovation Centre to create new versions of the ice Lollies his company, Pola, produces.

The innovative new products can be frozen on delivery allowing the company to ship their products nationwide via mail order.

The Food Innovation Centre is part of the Driving Research and Innovation project, a three-year project that runs until the end of January 2023 in the D2N2 area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Based at the University of Nottingham and in association with the Midlands Engine, it is a unique collaboration project that provides free specialist innovation support to small and medium-sized food and drink manufacturers.

The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via D2N2.

Driving Research and Innovation Project

The new ice lollies the Food Innovation Centre and Pola have helped produce benefit from in-pack thermal pasteurisation which ensures the product remains ‘ambient stable’.

Tests and trials are currently underway to ensure that the ambient lollies are as safe and of the same high quality as the frozen versions.

Richard Worrall, who runs the Driving Research and Innovation project, said: “Pola is an ambitious start-up company. It plans to develop by purchasing filling and packing equipment to semi-automate production and wants to make the product ambient stable for at least short periods of time to allow the company to sell and transport the product ambient, thus reducing the issues, expense and environmental impact associated with having a chill or frozen chain product.”

“The food scientists working at the Food Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus are very pleased to be supporting Isaac with their expertise which will allow him to develop the business further.”

Greenway-Tambini, from Mapperley, launched his business last year and is following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, an Italian immigrant who founded a chain of ice cream shops in Wales.

His enterprise remains a family affair with his mum June growing some of the fruits and other ingredients he uses in the recipes and his 16-year-old brother Angelo helping with sales and deliveries. 

“Being able to produce and supply products that are ambient would allow me to ship nationwide,” explained Isaac. “They would in effect be pouches of liquid, packed with the same great taste, which could be frozen at home. It would be a huge advantage over ice lollies which obviously have to stay frozen.”

“They have been really helpful at the Food Innovation Centre,” added Isaac. “I’m now in the process of carrying out all the testing on the different flavours to work out the optimum temperature and times for each recipe to ensure that the end product is stable when ambient.”

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