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Something aromatic and delicious is brewing at DOST-FPRDI.

Last 21 June 2022, the Institute launched an R&D Laboratory Facility to beef up its Flavors and Fragrances from the Forest Technology Program (F3TP).

F3TP is the newest R&D initiative of DOST-FPRDI and aims to tap underutilized non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for food, medicine, flavors and essences. In the next 10 years, its goal is to contribute in creating a globally competitive and sustainable forest flavors and fragrances industry in the Philippines.

Some of the products being developed by DOST-FPRDI’s F3TP.

The country’s forests are blessed with many commercially important NTFPs such as gums, oils, resins and tannins that can be used for food and personal care and wellness products. This is an opportunity for local producers since the flavor and fragrances industry is reportedly one of the most profitable niche markets both here and abroad,” explained Program Leader Florena B. Samiano.

The F3TP is currently studying the development of a diverse range of products including pure essential oils, massage oils, essential oil blends, bar and liquid hand soaps, lotion, oil-based foot deodorants and hydrosols; and cinnamon tea, flavor-infused wines and flavor-enhancing immune-booster products. Incense cones and sticks produced from process residues will also be studied for their ability to repel insects.

Sustainability at its core

For the program to be successful, Samiano says there is a need to focus on the sustainable use of NTFPs. Thus, the F3TP will engage farmers on the responsible propagation and harvesting of raw materials thru proper resin tapping, bark stripping and coppicing methods. It will also study the products’ market potential and promote their eventual adoption and commercialization

In a message during the launching ceremony, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña called F3TP one of his favorite programs. “As FPRDI has been studying the properties of different wood and non-wood forest products in the Philippines for nearly 65 years, it is bound to find innovative ways to maximize the use of such products. F3TP is a favorite program of mine and I really want to see this succeed and see results early on,” he said.

The soft launch of the F3TP R&D laboratory was attended by DOST Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara; PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora and Deputy Executive Director for R&D Dr. Feliciano G. Calora Jr.; and FPRDI management and staff led by Director Dr. Romulo T. Aggangan and Deputy Director Dr. Rico J. Cabangon.

In September, the DOST-FPRDI will call for a series of meetings where key industry players can share their experiences and ideas on advancing the F3 sector, identify gaps and needs, and establish collaborations. ### (Apple Jean C. Martin- de Leon, 22 June 2022)