Thatchers Cider recently welcomed University Centre Weston (UCW) lecturer Dr Elena Borodina to assist staff with their professional development.
As a trained microbiologist, Elena delivered specialist training to staff in the cidermaker’s production and laboratory teams.
The 114-year-old company employs state-of-the-art quality control throughout the cidermaking process to to ensure that appearance, aroma, taste and after-taste are impeccable, and of the highest quality and consistency.
To help the cidermaking team further understand how the natural acidity of cider works from a microbiological point of view, Elena’s sessions involved plating microbiological samples to test for the presence of and identification of microbes, enumeration techniques to count microorganisms and antibiotic sensitivity testing.
She said: “With the launch of our new degree at University Centre Weston in Biological Laboratory Sciences this September, this was such a great opportunity to develop UCW’s links with industry.
“People may not immediately think of connecting cider with a laboratory environment and scientific techniques, but it just goes to show that studying science can lead to such a variety of careers across a wide range of interesting organisations.
“Hopefully some our graduates will work at fantastic companies like Thatchers when they graduate from our new course in a few years’ time.”
Thatchers chief cidermaker, Richard Johnson, himself a trained microbiologist, said: “It’s true that many people may not associate cidermaking with science, but they are indeed closely connected.
“With such a great teaching provider in UCW so close to Myrtle Farm, we have formed close links with them through our Young Talent skills programme.
“It has also allowed us to continually develop the skills and knowledge of our employees in a wide range of subjects, to ensure we continue to make the highest quality cider.”
Photo: UCW lecturer Dr Elena Borodina (centre) and Thatchers staff take a selfie after completing their training sessions.