In a collaborative effort, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 2, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office 02, and Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal, Inc. (NVAT) initiated a three-day benchmarking activity for the Juice Processing Development Project on 12-14 March 2024.

The primary objective of this activity was to enrich NVAT’s understanding and familiarity with various products derived from tomatoes and other fruits.

The said activity commenced with a shop visit at Healthy Options, Makati City, wherein the team explored a range of products, including locally and internationally manufactured brands of tomato juice, tomato paste, and packed fresh tomatoes, as well as an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices such as lemon, pineapple, carrots, and turmeric.

The team was assisted by Customer Service Supervisor Jess Fausto from Healthy Options.

Moreover, the team also visited SGS Philippines Inc., and the Department of Science and Technology – Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) located in Makati City and Taguig City, respectively.

During the visit to SGS Philippines, the world’s leading testing, inspection, and certification company, the team was oriented on the various services that the company offers to clients, particularly the Manufacturing and Processing Industries and the Food Sector.

On the other hand, the team’s visit to the DOST-ITDI gave them the opportunity to know and learn the various food processing equipment and its uses such as the drum dryer, fabricated spray dryer, vacuum fryer system, fabricated water retort, and homogenizer and learn how the existing products undergo innovation through the use of various machinery at the Food Innovation Center.

In addition, the team also visited DOST-ITDI’s Modular Multi-Industry Innovation Center (MMIC) wherein they observed and gathered information on the uses of the displayed equipment such as the cabinet dryer, hammer mill, v-blender mixer, ribbon mixer, agglomerator, oil expeller, screw press, pressure filler, vacuum dryer, colloid mill, jacketed kettle, VL filling machine, and NVL filling machine.

At the packaging center, the team saw first-hand the modern and sustainable packaging materials that the agency has developed, and the various simulation activities they do to packaging materials to test their durability such as tests on drop, compression vibration, burst, UTM compression, UTM tensile, and high-pressure chamber.

For Day 2, the team explored two big manufacturing companies based in Laguna and Bulacan, specifically the Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, Inc., and Deli Best Blends Manufacturing Corporation. At the former, the team witnessed how a fully automated factory operates, while at the latter, they learned some best practices on quality control and familiarization with the tomato processing equipment.

For Day 3, the team’s last stop at the Forturo Food Manufacturing in Gapan, Nueva Ecija. Aside from having a tour around the plant, the owners also conducted a lecture regarding the proper plant process flow and quality control.

Present in the activity were the NVAT Team led by General Manager Gilbert Cumila, DA-RFO 2 represented by Precious Partible, and DTI Region 2 represented by TIDS Marco Accad and TIDS Silvester Miguel.

The benchmarking activity underscores a commitment to industry knowledge enhancement, innovation, and the advancement of the agriculture sector.

Date of release: 18 March 2024