Lechon as calamity food? Food tech scientists turn this festive dish into an emergency provision

·1-min read

You likely know lechon — a roasted pig with its signature crispy, amber-colored skin hiding juicy layers of meat underneath that’s a staple at Filipino fiestas and holiday tables. Well, how do you feel about this festive favorite being repurposed as emergency food for calamities?

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) looked into just that after launching a series of food innovations that aims to help micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) owners reroute their product offerings amid the pandemic.

Lechoneros (lechon sellers) may have enjoyed hefty business opportunities over the Christmas season, but have experienced an excess of food waste especially after the holidays.

The DOST, through their CRADLE (Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy) Program, worked with the Eastern Visayas State University to develop excess lechon into shelf-stable products to expand their market and possibly distribute them in times of calamities.

The emergency lechon dish, alongside other breakthroughs, was presented at a food technology symposium called “DOST-CRADLE Science Kusina (Kitchen),” attended by universities and those in the food sector.

The symposium showcased other breakthrough technologies, including deriving additional nutrients from pineapples, locally formulated vegan sausages, and possible health and nutrition benefits from marine species.

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