The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is eyeing to develop 2,000 new food products by 2016 through the establishment of Food Innovation Centers (FICs) in every region, which will complement the creativity of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs).
DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said that eight centers have already been established in different parts of the country. The government is optimistic to complete the project within the year.
The national government will invest PHP6 million for each facility through the provision of five basic processing equipments namely: water retorts, vacuum fryer, spray dryer, freeze dryer and vacuum sealer.
“Our food products in the market have been there for decades. Compare to Thailand, they’re developing 4,000 food products every year. The two countries are similar since people are very creative and both have rich resources. We just need to make the technology available to our MSMEs,” said Montejo, who was in this city on Thursday for the Science Nation Tour.
The center will be working toward the innovation, introduction, and improvement of products processes. While working on new edge technologies the center will also tackle on improving old products.
Research and development activities are centered on process and product innovation, new product development, standardization, and conversion of indigenous materials to high value food products.
Montejo said the 2,000 target is realistic since each of the FIC in 16 regions is expected to develop 100 new food products in a year while the National Capital Region has committed to produce 500 food innovations.
These can generate employment and this is inclusive growth. All of these are very possible with available resources, technical know-how, creative MSMEs and technology.
FICs will be established inside State Universities and Colleges, which can also be used for instruction, research, extension and production, benefiting the students, faculty, community, enterprises, and cooperatives.
Among the services that will be provided by FICs are product and process optimization, research and development, information resource center, technology training, consultancy, packaging and labeling, and short-run production.