Students from the Youth University Summer School visited Matis on the 13th of June. The theme of the day was “Food in space” and was supervised and taught by Sævar Helgi Bragason, a TV series producer and multi-awarded science disseminator, Anna Sigríður Ólafsdóttir, professor in nutrition at the School of Education, University of Iceland and Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, PhD Food Science, Research and Innovation, Matis. Altogether 24 students between the age of 12 and 15 participated.
The ´Food in space´ course was a combination of lectures and practical work. The lectures dealt with the history of space travel, food and food circulation in space, our senses and how our perception changes in space, nutrition in space and food culture. The lectures were combined with practical exercises dealing with senses and food: odour, taste, appearance, sound and texture, as well as the combination of the senses and how our perception in space varies from what we experience down on earth. In addition, the students were introduced to microplastic research, microbial analysis and genetic research performed at Matis, all put in context with life in space.
The Matis approach to the theme of food in space was via WeValueFood, in which Matis takes part in together with 13 universities and institutes across Europe. The aim of WeValueFood is to support the European food economy by improving future generations’ interest and knowledge of, and engagement with, food. A part of this is to evoke interest and participation of the next generation by novel approaches and new perspectives. Food in space is an very interesting approach on food related topics and the students were very interested in how food, nutrition and space could be connected.
WeValueFood is a part of and supported by EIT Food, which is a pan-European consortium that focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation in the food sector.