TACLOBAN CITY — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will open a Technology Business Incubator (TBI) in this city designed to extend the shelf life of native food products in Eastern Visayas.
The facility will rise within the Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) main campus here near the existing Food Innovation Center.
The project prioritizes local food producers without financial capability to improve their products.
The TBI features a shared service retort facility capable of extending the shelf life of food products from one week to up to two years.
“The retort process will kill the bacteria that spoil the food. To make sure that products are properly retorted, they will be subjected to pre-heat penetration test,” said DOST Leyte provincial director John Glenn Ocaña in an interview Wednesday.
The facility, which scheduled for construction next year, is in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Canadian Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI), and EVSU.
CECI will finance the construction of the building specifically designed for TBI’s operation. DTI will identify potential beneficiaries while EVSU will help maintain the facility.
The TBI will complement the existing Food Innovation Center. The center has machines that help improve edible products such as vacuum fryers, free dryer, and freeze dryer. Its capability is only limited to packaging, labeling, and sealing products.
The center also offers consultancy services, trainings, and seminars.
Native delicacy producer Joey Almaden, who has been in the business for 20 years welcomed the upcoming project, saying this will pave the way for him to grow the business.
“Longer shelf life will open a lot of market opportunities. Presently, we are reluctant to bring our products to Manila and abroad because it spoils within a week,” Almaden said.
Almaden is just one of the hundreds of producers of moron and binagol (native delicacies). Moron is a mixture of cooked sticky rice, coconut milk, and cocoa. Binagol is made of a local root crop, coconut milk, and sugar molded into a coconut shell.