Could you tell the difference between a bona fide raspberry fruit sauce and one synthetically manufactured?
That was the task of 42 pupils at Hardwick Middle School Sports College, in Bury St Edmunds, as they took part in a TV tasting experiment.
Organised by ITV’s Tonight show, the 10 and 11-year-olds gathered on the school field to sample the raspberry sauces with ice cream.
The sauces were created by Steve Pearce, CEO and founder of Omega Ingredients Ltd, in Great Blakenham.
In a close contest, a majority of four felt the synthetically crafted recipe tasted more like genuine raspberries.
Headteacher Andrea Smith said the result proved consumers have ‘become so used to synthetic food flavours that we think they are real’.
Tonight’s producers are making four programmes focusing on food.
Speaking before the pupils made their decision, presenter Jonathan Maitland said: “We’re more and more interested and concerned about what goes in our food. It will be interesting if they choose the man made sauce. These days it isn’t about what we actually know food tastes like - it’s what we think it tastes like.”
The activity has also generated long term benefits for the school, which is part of the Bury Schools Partnership.
Mrs Smith explained: “Mr Pearce has said he will come back to school so there’s a lovely connection in which we can do some work in science and food technology. It’s always better if there’s a real life application.”
The show is due to be broadcast in August.