By upao - Posted on 22 December 2017

 

Benguet State University Agri-based Technology Business Incubator/Innovation Center (BSU-ATBI/IC) conducted the first seminar-workshop on Food Innovation Center and the presentation of its Manual of Operations on December 19, 2017 at the BSU-ATBI/IC Hall.

Victor Mariano, Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) opened the program with encouragements to the participants in utilizing BSU’s first Food Innovation Center (FIC).

In 2015, a joint signing of a Memorandum of Agreement took place during the time of then BSU President Ben D. Ladilad, and then DOST Regional Director Julius Caesar V. Sicat on collaborating to establish an FIC with BSU as the manager.

Mariano presented a brief description of the five equipment given to BSU. These equipment include, Vacuum Packaging Machine, Water Retort, Freeze Dryer, Vacuum Fryer, and Spray Dryer. He added that these equipment are vital in making innovations on food. He encouraged that researchers should take advantage of the technology given to BSU.

“Planning without action is a dream, but action without planning is a nightmare,” Mariano said.

After the opening message, Pita S. Picpican, DOST-FIC Focal Person presented the rationale of the FIC. She said that FIC was established in each region in the country to serve as hub for innovation, research and development (R&D), and provide support services for value adding of fresh produce and development of processed foods.

According to Picpican, seminars were held prior to the FIC seminar to train individuals on handling the equipment given to BSU. Picpican said that the Spray Dryer is yet to be delivered at BSU’s perusal.

“It was a challenge for BSU to implement this project. This only started in 2017, prior to that, we cannot do anything,” expressed Dr. Ruth C. Diego, Director of ATBI/IC. “We are learning from previous experiences so we can move ahead.”

During the open forum, there were clarifications and some suggestions for the DOST and the ATBI/IC personnel to consider. Jaojao Somyden from the College of Home Economics and Technology (CHET) suggested that students should be taught to utilize the FIC for research purposes.

Diego also added that since FIC focuses on food innovation, there is a myriad of processed food ideas that can be experimented upon and the only thing waiting is for the researchers to come up with proposals in line with utilizing the equipment.

After the seminar, the participants conducted a workshop on drafting an Operations Manual for the FIC to function. According to Diego, the finished draft will be used in addition to the existing draft that the DOST and BSU have made prior to the seminar.

Richard P. Dumapis from the College of Veterinary Medicine commended the seminar and said that he was excited to use the new equipment. He added that this equipment will help students further their researchers that can actually produce results to further develop and add BSU products.

Janice C. Salipio from the BSU Food Processing Center also appreciated the learning that she gained during the seminar.

“As they say that in new endeavors, there are new birthpains,” expressed Salipio adding that she hopes to learn more in processing food especially in the Cordillera context.
Diego said that the launch of the FIC is planned to be conducted on January 25, 2018.//Mikeen Penchog