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

The Scottish Chocolatier Network will host the 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.

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.

The event will also feature 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 Hutcheon of Aberdeen-based Cocoa Ooze, a current student at Abertay and a Network board member, commented: “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 £3.5 million science labs, including the only industry-standard Consumer Testing Lab in any Scottish university.