Hi, I'm still alive after months of tortured by one of my biggest projects in my final year: Food Product Development. Actually, I was not intended to share my very personal thing here but since this is really a new milestone in my life that used up all my energy my time my sweat and my brain cells, I need a platform to jot it down so that I will not forget what I had done when I get older. Don't laugh, I have a really bad memory skill where I tend to forget what I had done not only when I was small, but also small trivial things a few years ago hahaha.
Everything was started from about two months ago when we entered the school for our so-called-very-free-only-FYP's final year. We were divided into 8 groups and each group will need to come out with a new food product in accordance with the title "Food Innovations from Local Fruits and Vegetables". To make it simple, we need to decide a new idea of the innovated food product by utilising local fruits and vegetables in Malaysia. The exhibition for our final product will be 2 months after the first meeting and what attracted us the most was that the TOP 3 innovated products will have the chance to further compete with other innovated products from other Asian countries in an exhibition at Prince of Songkla University, Thailand. To be honest, it really drove us to put more efforts in this project because it is a good chance for us to explore and experience new thing right?
We started everything from zero. From an idea > proposal> formulation testing> processing trial for like 100 times> deciding the formulation> final product processing> carrying out HACCP plan> food analysis> Marketing survey> searching for suppliers for our packaging materials> managing the social media of our company> design for our labelling and packaging> sensory evaluation> analysis of all the data collected> design of technical and marketing poster> printing> promotional strategy before exhibition> decorating for our booth during exhibition> final processing of our product> countless pitching during the exhibition, and not forgetting to mention all the reports and presentation throughout the process. It really used up all my energy and cells. We had only 5 PPL IN A GROUP yet we have to cover so many things! Seriously, we were so exhausted at that time especially when we still have to spare time for our exam and FYP proposal, everything was a mess.
Things that annoyed us the most was that we cannot get a product with consistent quality. The product seems like different for each trial. After a few stumbles and fumbles, we managed to produce our PEELnana jam which I think the only best quality of our jam was the one during the exhibition. But it's ok hahahahahaha cause the product will only be judged and evaluated during the exhibition.
I am grateful to have such a good team. It is not an exaggeration to say that they are the best team that I ever met throughout my 4 years of uni life. Everyone is so active and willing to share his/ her potential to improve this product and this really saved a lot of hassles. However, as the project continued to torture us with dark circles and tired souls, the passport to PSU was no longer a bonus for us to work hard because we were just too... tired I guess? Everyone hopes that thing can be ended faster and nobody wants to be the top 3 hahahaha we just wanted to fight for the 4th place xD. (非常不争气）
We spent our time in lab and school almost every day just for this project. Side note: The posters were done using PowerPoint ONLY! I personally prefer powerpoint more than photoshop :p
No jokes one ok. The product is just like what we can see in the market. Every format and standard in the labelling will be judged.
At last, we did it. My mind was just too complex to handle what feeling should I had at that time. We worked so hard for so long time, and everything just... ended so quickly (but we feel slow during the process). I don't really care about the win or lose issue cause I swear that we had already tried our best throughout the process. But I just feel too empty in the depth of my heart; this will be the last big assignment with my coursemates (no more core course for next semester) and this was really a project that I put so many efforts on it and the final product was really what I expected from.