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DOST-ITDI elevates food tripping in Kasarapang Pinoy na Pinoy

My olfactory and visual senses are swimming in the aroma and color of Pinoy food around me - astringent but  bright and citrus yellow; fermented and salty brown paste; heavily sweet and honeyed golden brown meat; minty and nutty greens; peppery, pungent, and smoky meats, sour, and vinegary dips. 

Truly a world of wonderful scents, tones, and textures. Who would mind being surrounded by all these food?  The feelings these evoked were soothing and comforting, yet invigorating.


Providing Solutions, Opening Opportunities

At DOST-ITDI, beyond such innovations on food products and concepts, is the focus on providing solutions and opening opportunities for businesses to cater to diverse needs. ITDI Director

Dr. Annabelle V.  Briones said that, "We develop food products that are attuned to, not only what Pinoy needs, but also what they want".

Following the global hottest food trends, current food demand trails behind cultural fusion, heightened sustainability consciousness, yet putting pressure on convenience.

"Thus, premier among these foods are our ready meals and drinks which are categorized by type as prepared and shelf-stable but are neither frozen and chilled nor dried, making eating/drinking these products highly convenient. Our beverages, of course may be chilled as preferred", Dr. Briones explained.

How sustainable is the Ready Meals Market?

But, what really drives the popularity of these ready meals?

In the Next Move Strategy Consulting report on Food and Beverages (September 2023), it cited food lifestyle is what usually dictates ready meals.  These are convenience, ease of use, and portion sizes helping with calorie control.

The food type is called Ready-to-Eat/Drink (RTE/D) foods  that are pre-cleaned, precooked, mostly packaged, and ready for consumption without prior preparation or cooking.

The next question is, how sustainable is this food trend?

Dr. Briones, "Economically speaking, companies that are interested in adopting our technologies stand to gain a lot.  Our products can penetrate the local and global ready meals market because of the sustainability of the future of this food type."

In fact, still according to the Next Move Strategy Consulting report, the Global Ready Meals Market size was valued at USD152.29 billion in 2022.  It is now predicted to reach USD276.10 billion (81% in 8 years or an average of 10.12% annually) by 2030.



ITDI Food Technologies - Kasarapang Pinoy na Pinoy

Dr. Briones rounded up that ITDI develops RTE foods that not only cater to food lifestyle

preferences of select consumer segments.


"We develop those which consider what we call as the 3Ks of food technology development unique to ITDI. These are: Kahandaan (Readiness), Kaligtasan (Food Safety), and Kalusugan (Health) or to its greatest extent what we call as Kasarapang Pinoy na Pinoy", she elaborated.

Why these foci? All countries should aspire to be able to provide for the food requirement of its citizenry. But, reality is not often kind and generous; events can be cruel and calamitous. This is why ITDI technologies focus on the 3Ks. It is forward-looking thus it engages in food development that is holistic in its approach.

Its strategy points to shared achievement between and among industry stakeholders. Afterall, stakeholders all belong to one community. 


Dr. Briones said, "We have grouped our food technologies based on three consumer

needs:  (1) provide food security solutions during disasters;  (2) provide these in

locations where there is civil unrest;  and (3) post these as everyday healthy and safe

food alternatives."

For those unforeseen, disastrous events, ITDI developed what it calls as the PACK of

HOPE Food Series to inspire and uplift spirits.  These are grouped into three relief food


First stage relief food considers  interrupted power, gas, and water services.  It addresses hunger and thirst needs of survivors with Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Chicken Arroz Caldo, a no-cook, no-drinkables, no preservative chicken meal that is storeable for a year.

Second stage food provides relief upon the restoration of power and other utilities.  For this, it developed RTE Smoked Fish Rice Meal. For those in need of variety in taste, flavor, and nutrition, one can opt for Sagip Nutriflour, a powder made from cassava, malunggay, camote, and monggo which can be prepared plain or added to other foods to produce chocolate bars, vegan hamburger patties, springrolls or breads.

At the third stage, when all utilities are back on line allowing survivors to use equipment and prepare foods, ITDI has RTE food supplements like Cassava in Syrup, Boiled Sweet Potato, Boiled Chicken Egg, and Philippine Monay or bread rolls.

Of course, Kahandaan or readiness should not only be instilled in Pinoys during peace time. For those times when men in uniform face ground warfare in some hotspots, ITDI teamed up with the Research and Development Center (RDC), Army Support Command (ASCOM) of the Philippine Army to develop the PACK of DUTY Food Series.

"Now, our men are physically ready to fight knowing that they have nourishing and flavorful RTE foods which remind them of lutong-bahay na ulam, such as Chicken Adobo, Beef Curry, Steamed Rice, Adobong Kangkong, Chicken Afritada, and Bangus Sisig," Dr. Briones said.

How about those everyday, everywhere activities?

For everyday, ordinary life that's packed with physically draining activities that leave one no time to  prepare cool, refreshing beverages or cook hot meals/snacks, you can rely on ITDI's GRAB and GO Food and Beverages.

They have four Ready-to-Drink (RTD) refreshers, such as Coconut Milk, Rice Milkshake, Mungbean-Coconut Milk Beverage, and Isotonic Drink.  For snack times, one can nibble on Drum Dried Philippine Mango Flakes and RTE Beef-Filled Suman.

For those with strict dietary restrictions or prefer Halal snack food, there are  Halal chicken nugget, burger patty, and sausage, which are not RTE, and Halal loaf bread and pan de sal.

Soon, ITDI will be market testing to validate acceptability of its new Shelf Stable Chevon or goat meat products that will be available as Jerky and Chinese-Style Sausage.

This is to cater to the requirement of Pinoys for tasty “pulutan.” As everyone knows, in this occasion where eating isn't even the main activity, Pinoys still eat food that has to be delicious.

In Northern Luzon, a favorite partner for a round of drinks is chevon or goat's meat dishes; others see it as a low-fat alternative to beef. Currently, Pinoy goat meat consumption is projected to reach just over 61 thousand metric tons by 2026.

Slow but Ready Food

Thus far, ITDI's strategy to promote ready meals or RTEs/Ds has been breaking ground.  More and more communities and groups are now into RTEs for those times when food security may be hanging in a balance, such as during disasters or ground warfare.

But, while it is into RTE development, ITDI still produces and prepares these much like how one prepares slow food – that is in accordance with local culinary traditions, typically using high quality, locally sourced ingredients.

So, while its aim is to promote RTEs, it is also promoting local foods and traditional gastronomy using modern technology.

Truly, Kasarapang Pinoy na Pinoy!

For more information you may reach Department of Science and Technology INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE DOST Compound, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City Tel.: (02) 8683-7750 local 2184 / 2265

by AMGuevarra - ITDI S&T Media Service


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