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Innovative Food Fabrication Pilot Plant

Views : 5150 | 25 Dec 2020
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Dried cherry tomatoes and high vitamin C lychee electrolytes


Associate Professor Dr. Pitiwat Wattanachai, Deputy Director of Science and Technology Park, Chiang Mai University




Various processed products



Production of dried cherry tomatoes and high vitamin C lychee electrolytes





Production of crispy mango


Freeze dried mango



Products of the Innovative Food Fabrication Pilot Plant


Innovative Food Fabrication Pilot Plant

Over the course of the pandemic, Chiang Mai University’s Innovative Food Fabrication Pilot Plant has been producing dried cherry tomatoes and high vitamin C lychee electrolytes, both of which have high vitamin as well as mineral contents designed to support the dedicated medical personnel of Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital.

The pilot plant has also been used to process various products from farmers who have suffered from the economic effects of the pandemic, as well as, to add value to raw products. One such success story is the development of the crispy mango, crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside, designed for long term storage and fruity fragrance, without rancidity.

The pilot plant is operated under the umbrella of the Chiang Mai University Science and Technology Park, designed to seek for service solutions in the food industry, by matching funds and technology from government and university with problems and requirements from private sector. It offers advice, experts, and services to those working on food processing, as well as testing and analysis on various products and equipment utilization. We aim to help the northern food businesses to attain a high quality and standard of goods.

Opening in 2020, the pilot plant aims to provide multiple services to the northern region of Thailand’s farming industry, not only adding value to the products and services, but also helping them to get their products ready for the market and maintain their business sustainable. There are a great number of small to medium sized businesses in the north of Thailand, most of which are not able to afford their own research and development. Therefore, the pilot plant aims to fill that much needed gap.

SMEs and startups will be the beneficiaries of this pilot plant which will help them to produce High Value-Added Products (HVA) at the reasonable prices so that they can become competitive on both a national and a global basis.

There are four types of services provided:

1. Acid Food Process: The process of adjusting the acidity of various food such as sauces, juices, and jams.

2. Low Acid Food Process: For the processing of food with low acidity and a pH of more than 4.6 and a water activity of over .85 (alcohol is exempt) which includes milk, drinks, and food in sealed packaging

3. Dehydration Process: For the processing of dried food or dehydrated food such as powdered milk, powdered tea, dried fruits and various capsules of herbs or tablets of milk.

4. Advanced and Nutraceutical Food Process: Food requiring high levels of technological complexity such as premium quality products or the extraction of scents without the use of heat.

“Our main strength is our deep technology which can be used to add value to a product and make it stand out in the marketplace,” said Associate Professor Dr. Pitiwat Wattanachai, Deputy Director of Science and Technology Park, Chiang Mai University. “If the consumer see and believe that a high standard of scientific and technological research and development is behind a product development, then they will have confidence in the product, even be willing to pay more for it. By deep technology I mean the research result in medical, medical technology, pharmaceutical, and such. Whether a product is a medical food or a functional food, we can assure the consumers that it has been thoroughly researched and professionally developed. For instance, herb extraction can be proven by our team to produce the best quality to be absorbed by the body, this requires deep tech to achieve. STeP is part of the Chiang Mai University, it has all the expertise of the many lecturers and researchers from the university to back it up. Members of the faculties of agriculture, medicine, medical science, engineering, or science can all be called upon for expertise. We have scientific backup for all claims, which will boost any consumer’s confidence.

To develop a product and make it ready for the international market, a company needs to invest a significant amount of money. This pilot plant can help trim down that investment by large margins so that a company can leapfrog much of the process and costs, and whether to develop their products themselves.

There are more activities and services provided by the pilot plant such as the Brain Power Skill Up Program which helps support entrepreneurs in terms of management, analysis of obstacles and challenges, management of finances, and adding value through technology. Experts in a variety of fields are called upon from the university’s faculties to support these various services.

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