Adele Wilkinson, a Food Science and Nutrition student on an Industrial Year working as a Student NPD Technologist at Jordans Dorset Ryvita

Adele Wilkinson

What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?

The Jordans Dorset and Ryvita Company is part of the British Associated Food (ABF) Empire. They produce an exciting range of cereals products, cereal bars and wide variety of biscuit products. 

What is your role within the company?

As a student NPD (new product development) Technologist I take ownership of shelf life testing across all three brands, as well as new up-and-coming products across all three brands. This can include anything from recipe development, process efficiency, cost savings, sugar reductions and everything in-between.  I also follow consumer trends and keep up to date with the ever changing market and internal taste panels.

Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?

My typical day varies a lot depending on what projects are coming up and what needs to be done, which makes to me everything more interesting. But everyday always starts with a Dorset or Jordans cereal and Twinning’s tea (as also own by ABF), which is never a bad start. 

What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?

I really enjoy seeing recipe ideas come to life, especially when you get to see projects you have been involved in creating on the shelves. Some examples of new projects that have just launched have been low sugar granolas, rye cakes and ‘carrot cake’ muesli. Getting the opportunity to visit other sites is also incredibility interesting and I’ve been to Poole and Poundbury and the British Sugar site in Peterborough.

Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?

I wanted to gain more understanding and experience in the food industry and discover if NPD is the department where I would want to work in after graduating. I also wanted to take a break from studying and see how I would handle full time working life. 

What do you think you have got out of this experience so far? 

I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is about JDR and how the food industry process works in reality, rather than theory. I have also grown in confidence and have fewer doubts about fitting into a professional working environment, so hopefully I will feel more stable after graduation about what to do next.