QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 76 - Page 19

The QMU research has allowed Louise Elder to provide evidence-based marketing information which accurately reflects the benefits of her product. Essentially, the research work aimed to establish the fatty acid profile as well as the antioxidant content of the oil. The team also wanted to ensure that the nutritional benefits of the oil were not destroyed by normal cooking and heating. Black & Gold is considered to be a premium oil and is used by many top chefs around the country. Due to its superb flavour and rich golden colour, it is championed in Edinburgh by Stuart Muir, Executive Head Chef of Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant. Dr McKenzie said: “Our analysis showed that Black & Gold rapeseed oil does indeed contain naturally occurring antioxidants in the form of polyphenols and that these are still active after domestic cooking such as shallow frying. Polyphenols actively work in the body to prevent certain disease mechanisms occurring. Polyphenols are antioxidants from plant foods that have been proven to enhance health and it’s generally recognised that they can reduce the risk factors of cardiovascular disease and can help protect the body from chronic disease.” L o u i s e s a i d : “ To r u n a sustainable small business we must have integrity. This research is now allowing us to accurately communicate the benefits of our product, provide advice about how the oil should be used to maintain its nutritional properties and to state what differentiates Black & Gold from other oils. This is all essential information for our suppliers, customers and the culinary experts who actively promote its use. The research was also able to confirm that the overall balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids conforms to the World Health Organisation’s international guidelines. This means that Black & Gold may be superior to oils commonly used for cooking, such as sunflower and extra virgin olive oil, due to its favourable Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio and antioxidant content. The QMU research has allowed Louise Elder to provide evidence based marketing information which accurately reflects the benefits of her product. Dr McKenzie confirmed: “The company can now say with total confidence that Black & Gold rapeseed oil is an ideal healthy choice of oil which is versatile – meaning it can be used successfully as a drizzle oil or for shallow or occasional deep fat frying.” “The research has also helped with our business expansion. Armed with the facts, we can confidently p ro v i d e a c c u r a t e p ro d u c t information when approaching new investors.” Louise concluded: “Acquiring the true nutritional knowledge about Black & Gold would have been impossible without the expertise of the QMU team. I would urge any food producer who needs assistance in developing their business to make use of academic expertise and business support offered by QMU. As a country, Scottish businesses need to be more proactive in harnessing the wealth of expertise that is available within Scottish universities.” The Black & Gold research project was supported by a £5,000 Innovation Voucher provided by Interface, the knowledge exchange agency which matches businesses with university experts. ❒ If your business could benefit from research support or business advice contact Miriam Smith, Business Development Executive at QMU on T: 0131 474 0000 or E: msmith3@qmu.ac.uk QMYOU / Commercial Feature 19