A SOUTHAMPTON-based ice cream company has won a national award following a judging process that saw more than 500 people test out various flavours.

Sprinkles Gelato, which has stores scattered about the city and further afield in Hampshire, has been awarded a one-star Great Taste Award for its Raspberry Peanut Crunch Gelato. Judged by more than 500 demanding palates belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks and producers, Great Taste reviewed more than 12,000 products.

Managing director of Sprinkles, Sharif Ahmed said: “We decided to enter the awards for the first time this year as we know we have some absolutely fantastic flavours of gelato.

“We’re glad the judges agree with us and chose to give us our first Great Taste Award.”

There were 12,366 entries to the awards this year, with 3,171 given one-star accolades and just 165 reaching the top bracket of three-star recognition.

Great Taste is the largest accreditation scheme for food and drink having been launched in 1994.