The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) said Tuesday its cacao processing technologies are at par with ASEAN standards.

DOST-ITDI’s Food Processing Division supervisor, Ma. Dolor L. Villaseñor, said the cacao, including the “tablea” and cocoa, processing technologies are designed to help industry players.

The ITDI-developed technologies and the cacao bean roaster have been devised to speed up the production and improve the quality of cacao-based chocolate, as well as reduce production costs.

“The cacao processing technology that the DOST-ITDI developed can produce cocoa that is smooth and less acidic than the ones commercially available,” Villaseñor said during the DOST-ITDI Technology Offering Series held recently at the DOST complex in Bicutan, Taguig City.

On the other hand, the ITDI-developed cacao bean roaster has better features than the traditional roasters because it is easy to use and affordable at only about PHP600,000, compared to its imported counterpart which costs up to PHP 1 million.

“We’re targeting the local licensed fabricators for this cacao bean roaster technology,” ITDI’s Rufino T. Barcala Jr. said.

ITDI developed the bean roaster to make the equipment locally available and more affordable to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The newly developed technologies are in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s call during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2017 to bring attention to investment opportunities and directions for inclusive growth, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

According to 2015 data, the country produced 14,000 metric tons (MT) of cacao, 12,000 MT of which came from the Davao region.

Local entrepreneurs can avail of these technologies through licensing agreements with DOST-ITDI, which offers technical services for various industries. (PNA)

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