French food and drink apprentices have gone “Ooh La La” over the specialist food technology facilities at CAFRE’s Loughry campus.
The staff and students from the Ecole des Industries du Lait et des Viandes ENILV, (School of Milk and Meat Industries), in La Roche sur Foron, also got a flavour of the work that Loughry students do with the local industry to develop new food products.
Derek McDowell, Head of Food Technology Education at Loughry said: “This visit highlights how CAFRE is developing an international reputation for delivering excellent facilities and developing students who can create new food concepts to meet the needs of the industry.”
Home to the Food Innovation Centre, the Cookstown campus allowed the French students to work alongside Loughry’s National Diploma food students to help develop a range of new products.
During their three-day visit the apprentices also presented some of their own tasty artisan and beverage products to CAFRE staff and students. It was an opportunity for the students to showcase well-known regional specialities outside their usual market.
Local student Conor McCartney from Newry said: “Working with the students was great fun and helped us learn more about their cuisine and food industry. It was also a challenge to our taste buds as we tried a variety of products the students manufacture during their apprenticeships, including a range of farmhouse cheeses and salamis. I think they were really impressed by our high-tech sensory lab facilities which they used to monitor our views on their products.”
Lecturer Rebecca Dubois from ENILV said she and her students were very impressed with the CAFRE facilities which cover the supply chain from farm to fork.
“Working in the extensive range of laboratories and units and meeting the Loughry students was an enriching experience for our students. This being the second time CAFRE has hosted us, it’s really rewarding to see the partnership take shape. CAFRE is an excellent partner organisation for us and offers the potential for developing further linkages for the benefit for both our organisations,” she said
The students also worked in the Food Packaging Centre, learning about the importance of selecting the right material for packing food products before touring Greenmount Campus and their Dairy Centre and Beef Units to see best practice in animal husbandry and management.