THE Department of Agriculture (DA) in Zamboanga Peninsula, through the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (Amad), has conducted the first Search for Best Innovative Food Technology contest this year in Zamboanga City.
Marissa Mohammad, Amad-Zamboanga Peninsula chief, said the contest, which was held Wednesday, October 28, is aimed to encourage the youth to develop and pursue innovative business ideas into viable business ventures in Agriculture and Fisheries.
The activity was held in partnership with the Western Mindanao Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (Wesmarrdec) Zamboanga Peninsula.
“We would like to discover food processing skills from our youth, and assist them to become future agri-aqua entrepreneurs. Together with Wesmarrdec, we hope this contest will open an avenue for our youth to engage in profitable food business or open new food production opportunities, especially in our new normal,” Mohammad said.
Mohammad said the Best Innovative Food Technology first place winner is 20-year-old Mark Ezekiel Adona of Ayala village, Zamboanga City.
Mohammad said Adona bested four other food-tech contestants with his creation of a unique vegetable-based recipe using eggplants and chayotes as major ingredients for jam.
Adona’s entry “Eggplant-Chayote Jam” was also top taste and was awarded P10,000 in cash and a Certificate of Participation.
Mohammad said the second place winner is the entry “daBONGAnada” from contestants Nur Aleessandra Andung, Rhea Jane Espinosa and Isniya Pakiluddin from Bolong village, Zamboanga City.
The three used bamboo shoots as the main ingredient for their empanadas. "Dabong" is a local name for bamboo shoot, hence, the name of the entry. They took home a P6,000 cash award and a certificate of participation.
Mohammad said the third-place winner is the entry “Bitter Gourd with Sweet Potato Ice Cream” presented by Aileen Sobrado.
She said Sobrado from Tetuan village, Zamboanga City used local ampalaya as the main ingredient in making ice cream.
Sobrado was awarded P4,000 and a certificate of participation.
A consolation prize of P2,000 was awarded to the rest of the participants with equally tasty food creations like the Ampalaya Patty entry of Catherine Mae Morla and the Kalabasa Roll with Chocolate Topping entry of Cathelie Vanlyn Bonocan. (SunStar Zamboanga)