Davao leads in creating high value food products with the Food Processing Innovation Center of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Davao, a bustling metropolis in Mindanao, is a hub of business activity, with the DOST setting up the Davao Food Processing Innovation Center (FPIC), a facility aimed at helping micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) improve their productivity and market competitiveness.
The facility is under the DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP, which aims to strengthen the competitive advantage of local enterprises, and increasing productivity and maximizing efficiency and income potential.
“With this food innovation center, we are able to maximize the use of our local raw materials by turning ordinary agricultural crops into high value food products that our MSMEs can now sell in big malls and supermarkets in cities all over the region and even export them to other countries,” said Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo.
The Davao FPIC, inaugurated in 2014, was the first facility of its kind established in the country. It is located in the Philippine Women’s College campus in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. Inside the facility are state-of-the-art locally developed and fabricated modern food processing equipment like the water retort, vacuum fryer, spray dryer, freeze dryer, vacuum sealer, and others.
The fabrication of modern food processing equipment substantially lowers the cost of production for the MSMEs compared with buying the machineries abroad. By adopting the locally-made equipment, the MSMEs are assured of readily available parts for maintenance and upgrading.
Davao FPIC has already benefited a number of small business entrepreneurs in the different provinces by giving them a venue to develop unique and highly marketable food products.
“Our local food manufacturers can now compete head on with other producers around the world because of the improved quality standard of locally made and unique food products and this will translate into improved revenues for the MSMEs and jobs for people in the nearby communities,” stated DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara.
Other FPIC-developed food products are: freeze dried durian; carrot-calamansi and carrot-pineapple powder drink using spray dryer; spray dried carrot-calamansi-sweet potato leaves powder drink under the CoolAce brand; gourmet tuyo (dried herring);and spray dried atsuete (annatto).
T“I am very thankful to the DOST and its Regional Office here in Davao because they are very accommodating from the guard to its staff and specially Director Sales who are now helping us improve our product, Lachi’s special laing, so we can sell them in bottles that will have a longer shelf life. They are assisting us every step of the way as we look forward to acquiring the water retort that will help us get the certifications we need for our products,” said Mateo Ty of Lachi’sDessert Bakery Inc., a DOST-assisted entrepreneur.