BATAC CITY, Ilocos Norte, September 6, 2015 (PIA) – – Secretary Mario G. Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) formally opened the food innovation center at the campus of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in this city last Wednesday.
Secretary Montejo visited Ilocos provinces in connection with the three- day Science Nation Tour in Region 1 that ran from August 31, 2015 until September 2, 2015. Most of the activities of the science tour were held at the Vigan Convention Center and at the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) in Ilocos Sur.
Located at the Science and Tecnology Park, the food processing facility is a one-stop food research and development center that aims to improve the province’s local food products to reach a sizeable share of the local and national markets.
The establishment of the facility is realized to help Ilocos Norte attain its envisioned food processing haven in the country.
The food center houses several equipment donated by the DOST and the National Economic Development Authority – Development Bank of the Philippines (NEDA – DBP) Industrial Guarantee and Loan Fund (IGLF).
“This food facility is very significant for the upliftment of the Micro, Medium and Small Enterprise (MSMEs) in the countryside in preparation for the ASEAN integration program,” Montejo said.
Among the equipment donated by the DOST for the smooth operation of the facility are spray dyer, retort packaging machine and vacuum fryer.
The NEDA-DBP IGLF provided the liquid and solid packaging machines, a vacuum sealer, and a refrigerated van that hauls the food items to be packed.
Dr. Prima Fe R. Franco, the MMSU officer – in – charge, said these food processing equipment will allow the university to improve its food products generated through research.
“Innovations will help us level-up and be at par with our ASEAN neighbors,” she said. (Freddie G. Lazaro/ PIA- I Ilocos Norte)