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Cardiff Met Food Science master’s graduate named baking industry rising star

Nishitha Kannan

A Cardiff Metropolitan University graduate has been crowned the baking industry’s rising star in a prestigious set of industry awards.

Nishitha Kannan, who graduated this year with a Food Science & Technology master’s degree from Cardiff Metropolitan University, won the title of Rising Star in the Baking Industry Awards 2022. The award aims to shine a light on the best and brightest talent in the earlier stages of their careers.

The judges praised Nishitha for her “thirst for bakery knowledge and dedication to technical and professional development.”

Going up against finalists from across the UK, Nishitha was delighted to be named the winner in a ceremony which took place at the Royal Lancaster hotel in London on 20 October.

Nishitha said: “I’m so happy to have won this award. Being named the baking industry’s rising star at this stage in my career feels like a huge honour.

“I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my parents, brother, my best friend Puneeth and the staff from Cardiff Met University who have all played an important role in my success.”

Originally hailing from Chennai in India, Nishitha moved to Wales in 2021 to complete a master’s degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

During her studies, Nishitha used the state-of-the-art bakery facilities at the university’s ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre to carry out a practical research project looking at the role of gluten formation in bread production. She also undertook a new product development project for a major UK retailer and was nominated as a Next Generation Baker by Puratos, a baking ingredient manufacturer.

It’s fair to say that Nishitha took a lot away from her 12 months studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Nishitha said, “The course at Cardiff Met covers lots of areas whether you want to work in quality, microbiology, NPD, or research and development. It can take you wherever you want to go. The lecturers are amazing too. Whenever you ask for help, the response comes immediately.”

Since finishing her studies, Nishitha has started working as an NPD Food Lab Technician for Biocatalysts in Nantgarw near Cardiff, where she’s developing new enzymes and enzyme blends that can be used in the food manufacturing industry.

“The reason why you do a master’s is to land a job and I got that, so it’s been a great thing for me,” said Nishitha.