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Kirkintilloch High School triumphs again in the Better Burger Challenge 2024

01/07/2024

The Better Burger Challenge, a contest designed to inspire students to reformulate classic burgers into healthier and innovative versions using Scotch red meat, has announced its winner for 2024.

Kirkintilloch High School in East Dunbartonshire has emerged victorious once again with their extraordinary creation – the ‘Sandman Burger’.

Burgers are hugely popular in Scotland with this year’s shop sales showing an eight per cent increase to £23.6 million, and the competition for pupils in Scotland aged 11 to 15 received numerous entries.

The challenge, developed in partnership with Food and Drink Federation Scotland (FDF Scotland) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), continues to inspire young minds to innovate and think critically about food production, nutrition, and enjoying healthy eating.

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The winning ‘Sandman Burger’ was developed by secondary 3 pupils Adam Solyman and Elisha Hossell from Kirkintilloch High School and captivated the judges with its exotic Moroccan-inspired flavours and commitment to health-conscious ingredients.

The ‘Sandman Burger’ features Scotch Beef infused with aromatic spices such as cumin and coriander, and the pupils sealed the burger in a frying pan before grilling it to meet the dietary goal of reducing total fat intake.

Gordon Findlater and Alison Bankier, QMS Cookery Demonstrators led the judging panel alongside OMS’s Health & Education Co-Ordinator, Tracy Martin and Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland Skills Manager, Moira Stalker.

The ‘Sandman Burger’ was praised for its bold creativity, unique flavour profile, and adherence to the Scottish Dietary Goals.

Tracy Martin said: “QMS was delighted to work with FDF Scotland on the Better Burger Challenge for 2024, and it was a struggle to choose just one very worthy winner.

“The winning creation – ‘The Sandman’ – was chosen for its exotic flavours, but also because the pupils, Adam and Elisha, worked hard to reformulate their ingredients to ensure that the burger was using healthy cooking methods and ingredients alongside our Scotch Beef.

“It’s great to highlight to pupils how red meat can be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.”

Moira Stalker, Skills Manager at FDF Scotland, added: “The Better Burger Challenge is a fantastic initiative.

“It educates young people on the processes and people involved in making food and the many careers available, helping to develop the workforce of the future for the vital food and drink sector.”

Miss Susan Miller, their teacher, shared her pride in the students’ achievement: “Adam and Elisha’s dedication and creativity were exceptional.

The ‘Make it With Meat’ resources provided an excellent framework for teaching and the competition itself was a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to explore food reformulation and product development.”

As a reward for their innovation and hard work, the students were thrilled with a class trip to the Royal Highland Show, where they received their certificates and prizes in front of their classmates.

Elisha and Adam said: “We’re really happy to win the QMS Better Burger Competition and enjoyed taking part in developing our own product.

“Our Moroccan-inspired ‘The Sandman Burger’ fuses flavours that tantalize the taste buds and elevate the burger experience to new heights.

“Its succulent grilled beef, infused with aromatic spices, transports diners to the vibrant streets of Morocco with every bite.”

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