The IFNH has sponsored a group of University PhD students and Early Career Researchers whose grant proposals were selected by a review committee, to attend conferences and explore placement opportunities that will enhance their careers.

Dr Ese Omoarukhe, a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the School of Agriculture Policy and Development spent 7 days with an EIT Food Rising Food Star in Cambridge, as part of an IFNH placement opportunity.

The placement company, Cambridge Glycoscience, more recently known as “Stem”, is a start-up company that produces “Stem sugar”, which is a natural, healthier and sustainable alternative to sugar. A carbohydrate as well, Stem sugar tastes just as good as sugar and has the added advantage of providing prebiotic benefits.

Ese designed a plan for the shelf life and sensory testing of stem sugar, and in the process learned more about sugar alternatives. This placement has helped broaden Ese’s network, enabling her to foster collaboration and partnership within the food ingredients and entrepreneurial sectors. As she has a keen interest in the sustainable use of plant-based ingredients to develop healthy foods and drinks, this placement also allowed Ese to identify gaps and opportunities with respect to research relating to natural sweeteners.