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Let's Get Local stand at Science in the City 2018
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The Institute of Earth Systems took part in the recent Science in the City 2018 festival in Valletta with a stand exhibiting a variety of local produce and providing information to the general public on the science behind unique local food products. Manning the “Let’s Get Local” stand on the night of 28 September were Professor Everaldo Attard and Dr Belinda Gambin, assisted by other staff members and students currently reading for the Institute’s courses.

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Exhibits of honey, cheeselets (ġbejniet) and olive oil were used to introduce the concept and significance of unique local produce. Visitors to the stand were then encouraged to taste-test the products, using their senses to explore differences between seasonal varieties of different honeys, for instance, as well as between olive and sunflower oils, and between cheeselets derived from different sources of milk.

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Particularly popular with children visiting the stand was a practical demonstration of the use of a microscope to examine pollen grains in local honey samples, together with an explanation of how this technique can determine a honey’s geographical origin and the floral sources used by bees in its production. Other equipment on display included a portable milk analyser and a demonstration of the polyphenols colour test used to show the presence of antioxidants in fruit and vegetable samples. Questions about the exhibits provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the extensive research work in this field being carried out by the Institute’s Division of Rural Sciences and Food Systems.

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Due to the enthusiastic response from visitors of all ages, the Institute is already planning its participation in next year's science festival and other outreach activities.

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Last Updated: 24 October 2018

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