Research Awarded Highest Mark At Writtle University College

While studying for a BSc honours degree in Equine Science at Writtle University College, Aline Bouquet carried out a research project that investigated the effect of different drying procedures on the presence of tannins in alfalfa. Tannins are secondary plant compounds that can have positive and sometimes negative effects to both the plant and the animals that might consume it. There are different forms of tannins in plants. The reason for the investigation was to understand more about their presence in alfalfa and to determine whether the temperatures used in the drying processes used by Dengie have any effect on their structure, activity and interaction with other molecules within the alfalfa, such as protein.

Interestingly, Aline used two different techniques to measure tannin levels and they came back with contrasting results. Although the results of the study were not conclusive, what proved to be very exciting was the fact that Aline was awarded the highest ever mark for a dissertation at Writtle University College – 92%. This is in recognition that the study and the evaluation of the measurement techniques used were of the highest standard. So, although inconclusive, we are delighted that the research project proved so worthwhile for Aline, who is now undertaking her MSc in Applied Equine Science and looking to do further work for Dengie.