by Edgilyn R. Alcasid
Filipino food manufacturers can now more effectively meet the demands of their consumers for exciting new food products with the launching of Metro Manila’s first Food Innovation Facility, which is located inside the University of the Philippines- Diliman Campus.
Last December 15, 2016, the University of the Philippines Diliman- Department of Science and Technology Food Innovation Facility (UPD- DOST FIF) was inaugurated at the UP Diliman College of Home Economics, Quezon City. The event was attended by key officials from DOST, headed by Sec. Fortunato T. dela Pena and DOST-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR) Officer-in-charge, Engr. Edgar I. Garcia. Key officials from UP, led by UP Diliman Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Gisela P. Concepcion and UP College of Home Economics Dean, Dr. Aurorita T. Roldan, were also present at the inauguration.
In his opening remarks, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. dela Pena emphasized that the Department will continue to collaborate with other higher education institutions to ensure that venues to strengthen the country’s research and development capabilities will be established. He added that DOST is excited to see more food innovations from local entrepreneurs through the UPD-DOST FIF.
Established via a memorandum signed between DOST-NCR and UP Diliman, the UPD-DOST FIF will enable local entrepreneurs to better compete with their regional counterparts in next generation food trends. Serving as a hub for innovation, the FIF provides the necessary conducive environment to inspire the development of processed foods using state-of-the-art DOST-fabricated equipment.
The FIF will also provide its clients with technical support through R&D assistance and consultancy services. The facility will likewise assist other researchers, local entrepreneurs, government regulatory agencies and higher education institutions (HEIs) in using the high impact technology solutions (HITS) equipment provided by DOST.
Two of the FIF’s prototypes- “Tea-tums”, a turmeric-ginger-lemongrass infused citrus juice drink and “Kam-pow” or kamias powder- have already won in a competition for prototypes developed in all the Food Innovation Centers nationwide. Researchers and food technology experts from UP Diliman are looking to develop 500 other product prototypes in the facility for MSME adoption.
Given the huge number of companies engaged in food manufacturing in Metro Manila alone, the launching of the FIF is seen to bring out the Filipinos’ creativity and adventurous spirit, which all translate to a more exciting food scene for consumers both here and abroad.