Scientists at the University of Greenwich at Medway have helped a Kent-based confectionery firm prolong the shelf life of its hand-made fudge. When Sian Holt of Jim Garrahy's Fudge Kitchen approached the university's Natural Resources Institute, she was put in contact with Linda Nicolaides, the principal scientist and programme director in the food safety and quality management department. The resulting research project was funded by the South East England Development Agency's Business Plus knowledge-transfer scheme. By adjusting the product's sugar levels, Mrs Nicolaides, assisted by recent graduate Julie Crenn (pictured), helped the firm produce a longer-lasting fudge without altering its taste. According to Mrs Nicolaides, "Sian approached us at a time when her business was ready (to) and needed to grow. We have managed to extend the shelf life of her product by more than 200 per cent and given her access to markets she couldn't reach before."