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Jamie Hutcheon of Aberdeen-based Cocoa Ooze in the Abertay science labs.

The Scottish Chocolatier Network will host the sweetest new conference of the year at Abertay University.

Held in the University’s Hannah Maclure centre on February 27, the event will run from 10.45am to 3.30pm, attracting chocolate lovers from across Scotland.

Jamie Hutcheon of Aberdeen-based Cocoa Ooze in the Abertay science labs.

Jamie Hutcheon of Aberdeen-based Cocoa Ooze in the Abertay science labs.

In addition to chocolate tasting and a series of consumer analysis sessions, there will be presentations from Abertay academics Dr John Grigor on sensory perception and Dr Boon-Seang Chu on shelf life.

Network board member, Jamie Hutcheon of Aberdeen-based Cocoa Ooze, will welcome delegates to the event, which will also include a talk on promoting chocolate products from Martha Bryce of Martha Bryce PR.

Andrew Niven of Scotland Food and Drink and John McCallum of Root and Toot will speak on packaging, while George Nobel of Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society will discuss product innovation.

Jamie, 27, whose business previously appeared on BBC TV show Dragon’s Den, is a current student at Abertay studying MSc Food and Drink Innovation.

He said: “Chocolate is the UK’s second biggest export and all of us at the Scottish Chocolatier Network are passionate about promoting this amazing product.

“We are delighted to be bringing the conference to Abertay and tapping into the University’s rich seam of food science expertise.”

Dr Grigor added: “The University runs Food Innovation @ Abertay, which provides innovation support to food and drink businesses across the UK, particularly SMEs.

“Offering access to specialist staff, equipment and facilities, the service provides tailored and cost-effective solutions including new product development and product reformulation, consumer and sensory evaluation, food processing and product analysis, extraction of value added ingredients from waste and food hygiene, safety and HACCP advice. “

Abertay recently opened new £3.5m science labs, including the only industry-standard Consumer Testing Lab in any Scottish university.

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