Researchers from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) who developed a protein-enhanced ice cream to improve nutrition among older people are celebrating a win in the prestigious World Food Innovation Awards.
Professor Opinder Sahota, Consultant in ortho-geriatric medicine at NUH, and leader of the N-ICE Cream project, received the trophy as winner of the Health Innovation category at an awards ceremony, held during the International Food & Drink Event (IFE) at London’s ExCel exhibition centre on Monday, 20 March.
NUH was the only NHS organisation to be shortlisted and win an accolade at these leading awards, which are dominated by leading players from the food and drink industry, including major household brand names.
Professor Sahota said: “I’m delighted that our team at NUH has received this prestigious accolade for developing and launching our N-ICE Cream (Nottingham High Protein Vanilla Ice Cream, fortified with additional leucine and vitamin D) product.
“We were the only NHS Trust to win in these very competitive international awards – which attract hundreds of entries each year – so this throws the spotlight on why our innovation is so important for older patients.”
He added: “Our achievement highlights the pressing need to address malnutrition in older people to a wider audience, and we developed our N-ICE Cream to address this serious problem.
“In the UK alone, according to the latest figures from NHS England, three million – one in 20 – older adults are affected by malnutrition. As well as the human impact, this equates to a cost of around £20 billion to the NHS each year, which is why our Nottingham-developed nutritious ice cream can make such an important difference.”
The Food Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham has been working with NUH to develop N-ICE Cream as a product. Richard Worrall, Head of the Food Innovation Centre, said:
“Our team is absolutely thrilled that N-ICE Cream has won the Health Innovation Award at the World Food Innovation Awards 2023, announced at IFE.
“To have won this award amongst such strong global competition is not only a huge achievement, but is testament to the potential that this product has for the future.
“The role of the Food Innovation Centre is to support innovative ideas and we are so very proud to have helped develop N-ICE Cream. We will continue our support towards a commercial venture which will bring enormous benefits to the health of hospital patients and address the nutritional needs of older people.”
FoodBev's awards marketing executive Jonathan McGowan said: "N-ICE Cream, recently crowned winner of best health innovation at the World Food Innovation Awards, is an amazing innovation that showcases a beneficial product aiding and enhancing patients’ quality of life".
Last October, N-ICE Cream was among the national winners at the annual Medipex Ltd health innovation awards, which spotlights innovations that will provide better patient care and improved services for the NHS. N-ICE Cream is offered to in-patients on spinal and Healthcare of Elderly People wards at Queen’s Medical Centre as an additional boost for their nutrition, while they are being cared for by NUH clinicians.