The PSU-DOST1 Food Innovation Center as other agencies had been, also suffered with the aftereffects of the COVID -19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, the FIC continuously develops, sustains, and delivers relevant services, timely turns food concepts to products, and technology transfer to the food industries and other clients. The Food Innovation Center completed a research project entitled “Transforming Region 1 Vegetables (Eggplant, Mungbean, Squash, and Lasona ) to Value Added Products Using Appropriate Technologies” which is a Department of Agriculture (DA) grant funded project for a total of Php 900,000.00 which was presented to the Department of Agriculture last April 30, 2021.
Region 1 vegetable crops such as eggplant, mungbean, squash and lasona through innovative product development were processed to value added products using appropriate technologies such as vacuum frying, cabinet drying, water retort processing and pickling. The Food Innovation Center was able to develop eight (8) products namely: 1) vacuum fried shallots 2) cabinet dried shallots 3) vacuum fried squash 4) cabinet dried squash 5) squash pesto sauce 6) pickled eggplant 7) eggplant dip and 8) mung bean non-dairy milk. Sensory profile, physico-chemical and microbial qualities were determined acceptable and safe for consumption. Appropriate packaging material of the innovative products was identified for each product. Package of technologies were prepared and training was conducted, the farmers being the participants.
The Center also completed a project entitled, “Application of Hurdle Technologies for Extending the Shelf Life of Candon Calamay and Development of Processed Ube Products”which is a DOST-GIA funded project for a total of Php 476,000. Terminal report presentation was held last June 14, 2021 via online meeting. The FIC was able to develop a process to extend the shelf life of Candon Calamay from the usual 5 days to 3 months. In addition, the FIC was also able to produce 3 standardized process of producing native delicacies (classic calamay, ube calamay and ube buyos) and their appropriate packaging.