29 May 2019

UM students win the Food Innovation contest: Ecotrophelia NL award 2019

With their oatmeal based allergen-free alternative for dairy quark called ‘Oat it’. The student team from Health Food Innovation Mangement won the Dutch round of the food innovation competition: Ecotrophelia and will go on to represent The Netherlands in the European finals of the Ecotrophelia for the most eco-friendly, healthy and commercially viable food innovation.

Oat it, eat it!

Oat it is 100% plant-based and completely free from allergens, such as milk, soy, gluten and nuts. “It is important to kick-start your day with a lovely and nutritious breakfast that is at the same time good for the planet. That is why we developed Oat it: a healthy, sustainable and delicious alternative for quark.” Says team captain Ilse van Lier. “Oat it is super nutritious: it has all the benefits dairy quark has and in addition it is a perfect source of fibre. Besides, Oat it can be produced way more sustainable than dairy quark.”

After presenting their business plans, and providing product tastings, awarded team Oat it with the Ecotrophelia NL award 2019. The jury explained that they were especially impressed by the taste, the detailed business concept and the sparkling presentation of the Health Food Innovations students.

The Ecotrophelia jury is made up from experts from the food and beverage industry, the European organisation for Food Science and Technology and the Netherlands Nutrition Centre.

The next round in the Ecotrophelia

Besides receiving €1000 worth of prize money, the team will go to the European finals of the Ecotrophelia. These finals will take place on October 6 and 7 during ANUGA, which is one of the worlds’ biggest trade fairs for the food and beverage industry and takes place in Cologne, Germany.

Other Maastricht University teams that competed for the Ecotrophelia NL award 2019:

  • Team Roots developed candy for adults, based on beet root
  • Team Hiippo developed a functional drink based on herbal remedies to counteract flatulence


This is the second time that a team from Health Food Innovation Management will represent The Netherlands in the European finals of the Ecotrophelia. In 2017 another team competed in the Ecotrophelia with their healthy snack: Poppeas.