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Distiller Kirsty Toasts Success as Young Scientist of the Year

Kirsty Black, a distiller at Arbikie Distillery in Angus, was awarded first prize at the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) Young Scientist of the Year Scotland.

The national competition sees a panel of industry professionals analyse the best in food and drink research.

Kirsty, who is working toward a Phd at Abertay University, placed first in the postgraduate competition, presenting details of her project looking at the potential for legumes, via intercropping, to replace the use of inorganic fertiliser on cereal crops.

She also aims to utilise the starch from the resulting pea or bean crop to produce alcohol and the protein to feed in to the aquaculture industry.

Kirsty said: “To have my work recognised by my peers and food industry experts in this way is fantastic and I’m delighted to have been part of the competition. Abertay is at the forefront of food innovation in Scotland, so it is an exciting time to be studying here, particularly with the country’s quality food and drink industry in such a strong position.”

Abertay hosted the Scottish leg of the UK-wide event, with other events taking place at London Metropolitan University and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Entrants are required to submit an abstract no longer than 150 words on their current work or show evidence of a recently completed foodrelated project from areas such as food science, food technology and human nutrition, sensory science, food safety management and food consumer behaviour.

Michael Norris of Glasgow Caledonia University took the Scottish undergraduate prize.

Kirsty joined Arbikie in January 2014, working with the Stirling brothers – John, Iain and David – on their Arbikie Highland Estate.

The judging panel for the event, chaired by Rachel Mirfattahi of Interface and IFST, included Alastair MacGregor of Scottish Schools Education Research Centre and IFST, Mark Watson of PepsiCo and Patrick Smyth of Food Standards Scotland.

Arbroath’s Arbikie Distilling was named Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year at the inaugural Scottish Gin Awards towards the end of last year.

To read more from the Courier, click here 

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