Sat | Jun 19, 2021

Growth & Jobs | More persons are producing new food products - SRC

Published:Tuesday | May 4, 2021 | 12:12 AM
Newly appointed Executive Director of the Scientific Research Council, Dr Charah Watson.
Newly appointed Executive Director of the Scientific Research Council, Dr Charah Watson.

The Scientific Research Council (SRC) is reporting an increase in the use of its food pilot plant since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve seen an increase in food-based clients and persons producing new food products that were not on the market,” Executive Director of the SRC, Dr Charah Watson, said.

“We are pleased with this increase because this shows how innovative and resourceful citizens are, even in the face of a global pandemic,” she noted.

The SRC has seen a 12 per cent growth in the number of clients using its milling and drying services, and 14 per cent increase in the number of goods milled and dried, such as herbs, spices and fruits.

In addition, there is a 22 per cent rise in the use of packaging services such as vacuum packaging and impulse sealing, and a 100 per cent growth in the use of heat-treatment services for plant materials.

Dr Watson is encouraging more manufacturers, scientists and researchers to engage with the agency.

“We are very accessible and facilitatory at the SRC, so we ... can appropriately direct them to get the necessary information, tools and technical support to create safe products through science and technology,” she said.

The SRC head highlighted the importance of the nation continuing to produce and innovate during the pandemic.

“This has proven to be a difficult time for many nations; however, we have to remain resilient and innovative to continue to drive the economy,” she said.

Meanwhile, SRC Chairman Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee encouraged manufacturers and innovators to protect their intellectual property.

“Protect both the product and process where applicable, because, ultimately, this is about wealth creation and development. Just because you have an idea or product does not mean you will make money, unless you protect your product and take all the necessary steps to legitimise and document [the product],” he pointed out.