East Midlands’ food and drink firms are being invited to discover how to tap into the healthier foods market, worth more than £7 billion in the UK each year.

The Food and Drink iNet is running a free session for firms who work in the sector in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

The Safe Food and Healthy Eating working party has previously turned the spotlight on alternative ingredients available to help manufacturers create healthier products.

Now the working party will focus on how to go about reformulating a product and the impact that recipe changes can have on processing and a product’s characteristics.

The session takes place at Government Office for the East Midlands, The Belgrave Centre, Talbot Street, Nottingham, on October 29th from 3pm to 5pm.

Speakers include Marcia Nightingale, from the Food Standards Agency, who will update businesses on initiatives and support available in the East Midlands, including the Healthier Food, Healthier Business programme, and food technical specialist Richard Wigley, from The Food and Drink Forum, who will showcase examples of products from the region that have already undergone changes to their recipes to make them healthier.

Kevin McKay, head of catering for Nottinghamshire County Council, will also explain about opportunities to supply healthier options to public sector organisations.

The Safe Food and Healthy Eating working party is one of four working parties set up by the Food and Drink iNet to explore the opportunities that becoming more innovative can provide for businesses.

“This is a golden opportunity for food and drink firms in the East Midlands to discover more about reformulating their products to make them healthier, and to give them ideas about ways that they could tap into the healthier options market,” said Food and Drink iNet director Peter Maycock.

The Food and Drink iNet is aiming to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It’s also hoping to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by emda, the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by the Food & Drink Forum and including the Food Processing Faraday Partnership, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

For more information about the working party event contact Jo Stevenson on 0115 975 8810 or enquiries@foodanddrinkforum.co.uk