Otago Polytechnic

The innovation of Otago Polytechnic's Food Design programme has come to fruition in a range of edible produce replicas – all with a taste twist.

Examples include a dahl curry encased in turmeric chocolate and presented in a chilli, and an apple pie smoothie in the form of a Granny Smith apple hanging from a tree.

Otago Polytechnic Food Design academics Timothy Lynch and Tony Heptinstall developed the new technique in consultation with EPIC, Otago Polytechnic’s R & D Centre, after being approached by Sanitarium.

The work, believed to be a New Zealand first, was showcased as part of a “So Good Garden of Goodness”, an edible ''garden'' comprising 3000 products, at Auckland’s Britomart this month.

The food-art process began with the creation of food-grade silicone moulds used to create vegan chocolate shells, which are filled with a variety of recipes based on Sanitarium’s So Good non-dairy milk products.

“The process involves working with natural products to design handcrafted foods that look identical to fruit and vegetables but are filled with contrasting flavours,” explains Timothy, who lectures on sustainability in the food industry. 

The technique allows chefs to produce large quantities of artistically designed food products by hand – yet on a commercial scale with a small team and at reduced cost. 

Tony says one of the objectives was to increase current industry capital through collaborations between the food industry and higher education sector. 

“We were conscious that in order to inspire the students we needed to take on a challenge that solved a real-world problem and used design thinking at the same time,” he says. 

Sanitarium marketing business manager Hayley Scott says the outcome surpassed expectations. 

“We approached Otago Polytechnic to help us come up with a way to show Kiwis how non-dairy milks can be used creatively in kitchens around the country. 

“Throughout their collaboration with their students and colleagues they have completely embraced this challenge and we have been amazed at what they have been able to produce.”

Watch Breakfast TV's interview with Tim and Tony

Read more about our innovative culinary programmes


Published on 16 February 2018

Orderdate: 16 Feb 2018
Expiry: 30 Jun 2018