MANILA – A new building will soon rise at the Northern Mindanao Food Innovation Center (NM-FIC) of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) main campus in Cagayan de Oro City.

"The additional building and equipment will be for the complementary food production, and the expansion of the food laboratory testing," Misamis Oriental Science and Technology Director Junelyn Louvena Ruiz told the Philippine News Agency on Friday afternoon.

She said the new building is expected to be finished by August 2022.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), she said, provided major equipment, as well as technical consultation and services to develop food products. It has also been assisting in the development of packages or brochures.

"The NM-FIC is the first in Northen Mindanao. Among its services include new product development, product improvement, equipment rentals," she said.

The DOST has also been assisting in processing the FDA license to operate, according to Ruiz.

"The FIC is open to all food processors, although not for free. The fee is mostly for the equipment rental, product development due to use of utilities and raw materials. Consultation could be free," she said.

According to the DOST-X, about 100 products were already developed and 1000 clients were served since the establishment of the NM-FIC in 2015.

More micro, small and medium enterprises are expected to benefit from the additional facility. (PNA