Beautiful blackcurrants. Wonderful whisky. From big name brands to the latest innovations in technology, Dundee and the surrounding area has a long history of being right at the heart of Scotland’s food and drink industry.
The region is home to some incredible innovators who are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Here’s just a taster of what we have to offer…
Ribena’s Beloved Flavour Comes from Dundee
Blackcurrants are big business. Twelve varieties are widely grown across the UK, and they’re worth around £10 million to the country’s economy.
But our most famous blackcurrant-related product – Ribena – owes its much-loved flavour to researchers in Dundee.
Ribena has worked with the James Hutton Institute for over 25 years to breed the perfect berries to make its drinks. Researchers at the Institute, which coordinates the British Blackcurrant Breeding Programme, are able to choose the key characteristics from the berries by selective breeding – including flavour and hardiness – to ensure the drinks manufacturer has the exact berries they require.
The Spiritual Home of Whisky
While Fife may not be as famous for its whisky as larger regions like Speyside, it can lay claim to being the spiritual home of Scotland’s most famous drink.
Lindores Abbey near Newburgh is recognised as the oldest recorded distilling site in Scotland. Monk John Cor was distilling as far back as 1494. That same year, King James IV commissioned him to turn “eight bolls of malt” into whisky – the equivalent of 400 bottles today.
Lindores Abbey Distillery continues to make world class single malt whiskies to this day.
Abertay’s Got Its Eye on the Future
Abertay University’s state-of-the-art food labs are at the forefront of food innovation in Scotland. The university is in a fantastic position to be able to work closely with industry in Government-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships to enhance the country’s output.
From new product development to sensory evaluation of exiting products, the team is equipped with the latest technology to properly analyse foodstuffs and uncover their secrets – and also investigate new developments in the industry surrounding them.
The university’s work with fruit and vegetable wholesaler Ivan Wood and Sons Ltd, for example, saw the development of a new filtration system – the by-products of which had further applications in the food and drink industry.
The Region is Oatily Engrossed in Food & Drink
Quaker Oats’ site in Cupar has been producing porridge oats since 1947. Starting out with just 30 staff working through the winter months, the mill now runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – run by a team of over 250.
From its Fife base, Quaker provides porridge to the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa – providing over 600 million servings of porridge to British customers alone every year.