A ‘training-for-trainers’ course on food processing was conducted at the Sentra Pengembangan Agribisnis Terpadu (SPAT) Training Center in East Java, Indonesia for 3 Fijian participants from 31 May to 2 June 2012. The training was the outcome of a meeting initiated by TFNet between Fijian Ambassador to Indonesia H.E. S.T. Cavuliati and SPAT Managing Director Unggul Abinowo.
Food processing activities provide viable options for smallholders to mitigate glut problems, add value to products, and provide additional income. Using vacuum fry technology, participants were trained on the production of jackfruit and sweet banana chips.
Modules of the course included lectures by food processing specialists and hands-on sessions in the production of various food products like fruit and root crops. The course focused on small- and medium-scale production of chips and snacks from cassava, yam, and sweet potato and vacuum fried fruit chips. Participants were also taught on the importance of sanitation, food safety measures and certification, besides the proper handling of different equipment. TFNet CEO presented a lecture on the issues and challenges in developing the tropical fruit industry highlighting examples on juice and puree production, minimal processing, and fruit chip production using vacuum fry technology.
Efforts are underway to introduce the vacuum fry and other equipment to Fiji. TFNet is also scheduled to conduct a food processing workshop in Fiji on September this year.