The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recently unveiled locally-developed equipment that will make local food processors more productive.
Developed by DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), said equipment are part of the science department’s High Impact Technology Solutions (HITS) that support the growth and competitiveness of the country’s small and medium enterprises.
Water retort. This is a cooking vessel capable of withstanding extreme pressures and designed to destroy all microbes to prolong shelf-life and make product safe.
Freeze dryer. It dehydrates heat sensitive materials through the sublimation process, or changing solid ice into gas, under vacuum conditions. This process preserves perishable items and make them more convenient for transport. This equipment is used in prolonging the shelf life of buko pie; vegetables, meat and fish for instant meals and soups; cheese; yoghurt; proteins; enzymes, etc.
Vacuum fryer. This is designed to fry food in deep fat under reduced pressure and in a closed system that lowers the boiling point of both oil and water in food. Vaccum fried foods include potato chips, durian, pineapple, kiwi, and others.
Spray dryer. It turns liquids into a spray of droplets, then converts these droplets into powder. This equipment is used in making milk powder, coffee, spices, flavorings, medical ingredients, additives, and even paint pigments, ceramic materials, and others.
Vacuum packaging machine. It removes air before sealing food products in retort pouches.
Immersion freezer. Its contents, usually food products (meat, fish, fruits, vegetables) are submerged in cold liquid that serves as freezing agent.
Vacuum evaporator. This equipment concentrates heat sensitive liquid food material, such as herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
Most of the equipment have already been tested in function and performance, and the rest will be tested within the year.
“This program has several objectives First, DOST wanted to substitute the imported with locally designed, developed and manufactured equipment,” says DOST-ITDI Director Nuna Almanzor. “Second, DOST would also want to increase local technologies and to help our SMEs, including those in the metals industry, and ultimately lower the acquisition costs of these equipment.”
DOST’s Project Management Engineering Design Service Office designed said equipment while the Metals Industry Research and Development Center was commissioned to fabricate the prototypes. On the other hand, DOST-ITDI provides performance testing for the equipment.
The equipment will be available for use at the Food Innovation Centers in Region 2 at Cagayan State University, Region 5 at Bicol University, Region 6 at the DOST Regional Office 6 in Iloilo City, Region 8 at Eastern Visayas State University, Region 10 at Mindanao University of Science and Technology, and Region 11 at Philippine Women’s University.
DOST’s Food Innovation Centers aim to make the Philippine food manufacturing industry competitive with other ASEAN countries at the onset of the ASEAN Economic Integration in 2015.