DOST-ITDI revives old technology, produces new fruit flakes
The Department of Science and Technology and Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) sees innovation as a never ending challenge, one that is propelled by a continually changing progression of people’s needs and wants.
This propels the institute’s pool of experts to repeatedly develop new and rediscover old technologies.
To bolster this technology’s applicability, ITDI refreshed the know-how in drum-drying. The result is an entirely new and exciting product – fruit flakes from Philippine Carabao mango, banana, and makapuno as base materials.
Drum-drying technology is a process used to remove moisture from pastes, purees, and liquids using a dryer with a rotating heated drum.
During processing, the equipment is set at low temperature to retain the raw material’s organoleptic properties (aspects of food material as experienced by the senses, including taste, sight, smell, and touch), such as, color, aroma, and taste.
The finished product may be finely granulated powder or flakes that can be reconstituted or put back together by adding water or any liquid substitute.
Many are unaware that most food products that are sold in stores and supermarkets are drum-dried processed. These include milk powder, dehydrated soup mixes, baby foods, and potato additives, such as flour, granules, and starch.
Drum-drying technology is used in such food products, not only to preserve the natural state of the product’s raw ingredients, but also to prolong its usefulness or shelf life. In addition, it eases and speeds up preparation of food, to vaunt the favor of convenience feature to consumers.
Research team leader Elsa Falco said that, “A study on drum-dried products has been done in 1991 at the Food Processing Division (FPD) of ITDI. It was successful and was adopted by a number of takers which produced and sold the drum-dried products. But for unclear reasons, these products have since disappeared in store shelves.”
She affirmed, however, that “We have seen the market potential of currently available and similarly processed fruit products. This is why we have decided to revive the technology and remake fruit-based confectionary products, specifically mango, banana, and makapuno into fruit flakes. With this, our stakeholders are assured of steady profit. Now, these fruits can level-up to the market status of similar products such as dried mango and soursop or guayabano.”
With funding assistance from DOST-PCIEERD, the team revalidated all research data generated in the past and used the same parameters to successfully reproduce flaked mango, banana, and makapuno. Three adopters are currently ready to venture into the fruit flakes business.
Meanwhile, ITDI experts are working to re-study production of a more stable coconut milk product comparable to the quality of imported items. Tirelessly exploring and re-discovering, they continue to bring people breakthroughs of the future.
Aside from conducting in-house research studies, FPD also caters to industries’ and individual’s research needs on food product development; process development/improvement; and shelf-life testing. To avail of these services, call or visit Engr. Melchor C. Valdecañas, Chief, Food Processing Division at telephone number (632) 837-2071 to 82 loc. 2187 or Email email@example.com.
Source: ITDI website (Delia-Delica Gotis, TSD with report from Christian U. Cortado, FPD)