Various kinds of foods and flavors developed through science and technology intervention give food lovers and developers wide prospects for innovation in food products, and provide entrepreneurs huge opportunities for business.
Filipinos, being citizens of the world, have acquired various tastes for various local and international food and have undoubtedly become more adventurous gastronomically. This gives food experts much opportunities to come up with enhanced food products with very good quality and broad use, such as complementary and emergency food.
Moreover, various disasters have also sent food experts thinking of ways to develop food items that can supply the nutritional needs of victims and can be stored and distributed without much issues.
A wide variety of such innovative food products were showcased recently during the Technology Transfer Day held recently in Hotel Sofitel, Pasay City. Organized by the Department of Science and Technology, the Technology Transfer Day provided opportunities for technology developers and adoptors, including those in the food industry, to find technologies that are ready for takers.
The exhibit section aptly called “Future Flavors” paraded most DOST-developed or funded food products, providing instant taste tests and treats to willing participants.
Among the foods on display and were up for taste and adoption were:
Ready-to-Eat arrozcaldo: Categorized as disaster food ready to eat without drinkables, this arrozcaldo (porridge) was developed as a disaster mitigation/relief food to address immediate hunger of disaster victims. It has a shelf life of at least one year. The packaging structure is lightweight and very handy. It was designed to withstand aerial distribution of about 800-1000ft for the distribution in flooded areas or in disaster zone that cannot be reached by land because of damages.
Complementary foods: These are protein and energy food products made of rice-and-mongo combination, in instant, ready-to-cook, and crunchies versions. Complementary foods are designed to fill the nutritional needs of small children aged 6 months to two years old.
Cassava cookies and cassava chips: Made of 100 percent cassava grates, these gluten-free goodies provide a healthy fix for people with sweet tooth. The cassava chips are ready to fry, perfect for movie or tele marathon snacks.
Thermally processed instant laing: This canned laing comes as a complete dish fmade of gabi (taro) leaves cooked very slowly in coconut milk and seasoned with ginger and chili for zing, and shrimp paste for unique salty flavour.
Nipa sugar and sweetener: This is an alternative kind of sugar that contains minerals and has low glycemic index. It can also be used as sweetener and ingredient in several foods and confectionery products such as pastries and native delicacies.
Iron fortified rice: This is an enriched kind of rice made from a blend of iron rice premix or ordinary rice grains coated with iron using suitable solvent and binder.
Stabilized brown rice: This brown rice has a lengthened shelf life of up to nine months with its original taste intact. This stability was developed through a combination of heat treatments.
Food Innovation Center products: These food products include vacuum-fried tahong (mussels), okra, squash, jackfruit, durian, pineapple, calamansi, tomato, bagoong and sea grapes, and freeze-dried pineapple.
Said showcase of innovative food products and other technologies was one of the highlights of the celebration of the Technology Transfer Day to commemorate RA No. 10055 or the "Philippine Technology Transfer Act of 2009" which provides the framework and support system for te ownership, management, use, and commercialization of intellectual property generated from research and development funded by the government.