May 19, 2024

As part of this year’s Science for the People (SFTP) caravan in Benguet and Baguio City, the Department of Science and Technology, through the Provincial S&T Center (PSTC)-Benguet, held livelihood trainings on food processing for start-up micro, small, and medium enterprises with the use of the DOST-Food Innovation Center (FIC) technologies and services from May 25 to 28.

In her keynote message, DOST-Cordillera Director Nancy Bantog acknowledged the strong partnership between DOST-Cordillera and MSMEs in advancing food processing in the region, especially to the benefit of local entrepreneurs.

“Innovation spells the difference for the food MSMEs to compete in the local and global markets,” she said.

S&T Director for Benguet Sheila Marie Singa-Claver also encouraged the participants, majority of whom are members of associations/cooperatives in Benguet and Baguio City, to take advantage of the FIC to develop new products and remain competitive in the market in as much as the FIC is readily accessible.

The FIC-Cordillera, which was established in La Trinidad, Benguet in April 2018 in partnership with the Benguet State University, is a hub for innovation, research and development that provides researchers and local food processors the capacity to enhance foods and delicacies and produce new ones. Among the equipment available in the center are vacuum fryer, freeze dryer, spray dryer and water retort machine.

DOST-Cordillera-FIC project staff Emmanuel Quiñones and BSU-FIC researcher, Dr. Jao-Jao Somayden, discussed during a techno-forum on May 25 technical requirements and processes for individuals and firms who may avail of the different services and technologies.

Somayden also displayed freeze-dried fruits and herbs as alternative flavors for ice cream, based on a recently-concluded study funded by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development.

MSMEs also learned the basic principles in baking bread and pastry and making noodles infused with fruits and vegetables in a training led by Jocelyn Villanueva and Rene Antonio Garcia, both owners of Baguio-based bakeries Johec’s Cakes and Cupcakes and OMG Sweets Bakery, respectively, last May 26 to 28.

DOST-initiated livelihood trainings give MSMEs, especially startups the opportunity not only to generate income not only during the pandemic but also to produce nutritious food for the community. – DOST release