Reading student wins prestigious national food, nutrition and health award
Release Date 30 September 2005
Vanessa Clarke, from the School of Food Biosciences, has won the prestigious Cadbury Schweppes Award for the Best Food, Nutrition and Health Student at the 2005 Science Engineering & Technology (SET) Student of the Year Awards. The award recognised Vanessa's innovative research project in analytical biochemistry. Vanessa, who gained a first class BSc (Honours) in Food Science this year, beat off stiff competition from fellow short listed scientists from Roehampton and Nottingham to scoop the award. Vanessa's final year project was a 'comparison of modification of protein by sugars and sugar degradation products under in vitro physiological conditions and temperatures more relevant to food processing'. The compounds formed in this process are termed advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). AGEs form in the human body as part of the normal ageing process, but more rapidly in the presence of diabetes. They have also been linked with the complications of a range of other diseases, including renal failure, liver cirrhosis and Alzheimer's disease. Diabetes has been identified as the biggest health concern of the 21st century, costing the NHS £3.5 billion per year. It affects approximately 1.8 million people in the UK, equivalent to 3% of the population, however an estimated one million people remain undiagnosed (Diabetes UK, 2004). The problem is to escalate with a predicted 3 million diagnosed in the UK by 2010 and 22 million in the US by 2025. Vanessa was praised by the judges for her ability to communicate scientific complexity and her academic achievements, including the award of a series of prizes throughout her academic career. Judged by independent members of the Institute of Food Research, the Cadbury Schweppes Award for Best Food, Health and Nutrition Student was created to recognise the increasingly important role that science and technology are playing in the understanding of food safety and quality including the impact of food on human nutrition and health. Cadbury Schweppes Plc has been a principal sponsor of the SET Awards for the past eight years and its continued sponsorship of this year's award further demonstrates the company's commitment to scientific innovation in the area of food science, diet and health. Commenting on the award, David Macnair, Chief Science and Technology Officer at Cadbury Schweppes said: "We are delighted to be sponsoring this important award again in 2005 and would like to congratulate Vanessa on winning. It is vital that we continue to recognise the important role that food science and technology play in helping us to deliver quality, safe, wholesome and nutritious foods throughout the World." Vanessa, receiving her prize from Paul Hebblethwaite, Cadbury Schweppes Science Director, commented: "I'm thrilled to have won this award. It is fantastic to have my work recognised at a national level. It represents not only a personal achievement, but is a real tribute to the excellent teaching I've been privileged to receive during my four years at the School of Food Biosciences at the University of Reading. "I'm excited as to what the future holds. I hope to be able to use this award as an opportunity to become an ambassador and ultimately make a contribution to the field of nutrition food and health." Vanessa is now studying for her PhD at the University of Reading. end This press release was originally issued by Cadbury Schweppes For further information contact: Media Enquiries Rowan Pearman +44 (0) 207 830 5043 Notes for editors: Cadbury Schweppes is currently seeking graduates to join the Science, Technology and Innovation Function. Please log on to http://company.monster.co.uk/cadschwpuk/career.asp to find out more information. About Cadbury Schweppes Cadbury Schweppes is the world's largest confectionery company and the third largest carbonated soft drinks group. With origins stretching back over 200 years, today Cadbury Schweppes' products - which include brands such as Cadbury, Schweppes, Halls, Trident, Dr Pepper, Snapple, Trebor, Dentyne, Bubblicious and Bassett - are enjoyed in almost every country around the world. The Group employs over 50,000 people.