MANILA – A good number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have expressed interest in vacuum-freeze drying technology as an innovation to their businesses, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña announced on Friday.

In a taped report, he said at least 60 have attended a virtual seminar on the use of vacuum-freeze drying facility that the DOST has organized last September 2.

The participants were from the food enterprises, cooperatives, farmer associations, and government sectors, he said.

"Preservation, longevity of shelf life, and hygroscopicity or water-absorptivity which allows for easy reconstitution are among the advantages of this technology," de la Peña remarked.

According to him, the resource person talked about how the vacuum freeze-drying process preserves the nutrient content of fruits or vegetables, compared to other drying methods, such as air-drying or sun-drying.

"The speaker, Dr. Adelisa Dorado, an associate professor at the University of the Philippines - Los Baños, also identified long duration of processing time and high operating cost as the disadvantages of this technology," he added.

Meanwhile, de la Peña said the Cavite Provincial Agriculturist Office expressed interest in adopting the technology for its assisted farmers’ association.

The DOST-Calabarzon acquired a vacuum freeze-drying equipment, currently housed in the Calabarzon Food Solutions Hub in Laguna, for use of the Association of Laguna Food Processors and other food enterprises in the region in developing and commercializing food products, he said. (PNA