CITY of BALANGA, Bataan – Aiming to improve productivity, product quality and waste management of four Bataan firms, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) III recently provided them machines with a total value of P1.4M thru the agency’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading (SETUP) Program.
Project beneficiaries are composed of three food processing companies namely Montey’s Food Products in Morong, Sam Roque’s Food Products in Samal and Linda & Nap Smoke & Dried Fish Processing in the City of Balanga, and the Robles Farm, a piggery farm in Abucay.
The financial assistance that DOST III extended to them to acquire the needed technologies or machineries will be reimbursed to the agency in three years without interest. This encouraged Montey’s Food Products, a buko pie-producing microenterprise in Brgy. Sabang, Morong to enroll to the program and be a second-timer SETUP beneficiary.
The company recently acquired a dough sheeter machine and they had been using it to produce pie crusts with standard thickness. “Natutuwa kami kasi pangalawa [project] na namin ito sa DOST. Malaki ang naitulong sa amin ng DOST. Dahil sa bagong dough sheeter machine, mabilis yung paggawa ng crust…” shared firm-owner, Ester T. Domingo. She explained that this semi-automated equipment shortened their processing time dramatically because they no longer manually produce pie crust using a rolling pin.
The owner of Sam Roque’s Food Products, Agnes M. Alisbo, shares the same experience. Acquiring a planetary mixer, a band sealer, and a food grade working table, Sam Roque’s Food Products in Brgy. San Roque, Samal sees improvement in their production practices with the advent of these new and efficient machines.
The planetary mixer will mechanize the preparation of dough which they used to manually and laboriously produce prior to DOST’s intervention, while the use of band sealer assures them that the crispness of their products will last longer since the packaging materials are properly and tightly sealed.
“Maganda ang pagkaka-seal, malapad. ‘Yung bilis ng conveyor ng band sealer ay naa-adjust naman,” Agnes M. Alisbo, manager of Sam Roque’s Food Products, responded when she was asked to describe the output of the machine.
Product quality is also the major concern of Linda & Nap Smoke & Dried Fish Processing in Brgy. Pto. Rivas-Ibaba, in the City of Balanga. This 40-year old company that processes assorted fish into “tuyo” (dried fish) and “tinapa” (smoked fish) wanted to improve the packaging and the shelf life of its products, thus DOST assisted them to acquire a vacuum packaging machine.
To complement it, the project necessitated a chest type freezer where the vacuum packed processed fish will be cold stored prior to delivery. The firm also acquired two units of food grade working tables to improve their food safety practices.
Unlike the three food manufacturers, Robles Farm in Brgy. Laon, Abucay has a different priority. Being a piggery farm, the company’s top concern at present is the proper waste disposal and management in the farm to comply with the requirements of the local government unit of Abucay and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Thus, the firm sought the assistance of DOST to adopt the agency’s biogas digester technology and to install a 117 cu. m. biogas digester with 58.5 cu. m. gas capacity. Biogas digester converts farm waste into biogas including methane. It also minimizes the release of harmful green house gases such as nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen sulfide produced from the decomposition of farm wastes.
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