In the Philippine setting, dehydrated fruits are produced by bulk processors in comparison to foreign household wherein dehydrators are common kitchen equipment and food dehydration is as common as regular cooking of meals.
At present, a number of government run agricultural high schools are trying to incorporate food dehydration in the chemistry subject. This strategy of introducing food dehydration is being done in the Science High School of the Central Luzon State University (Andaya, et.al.2005). The said state university located in Munoz, Nueva Ecija coordinates with the Bureau of Post Harvest Research Extension (BPHRE) in its research in applying methods in food dehydration using locally-sourced material for the fabrication of a drying system that can be used by the farm cooperatives formed by the Department of Agriculture Extension services in the area. BPHRE in turn pilot tests food dryers with less power consumption or sometimes none at all due to the high cost of energy, by setting up a group of mushroom farmers into drying their produce which has a ready market in Central Luzon alone (Mateo,2005).
If home-based or small-scale food dehydration process is promoted widely, the benefits through sub-contracting similar to large producing and exporting countries such as Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador and Uganda will promote income generation in general. Food processing is labor intensive than capital intensive.
In the end view, the study hopes for the gradual assimilation of food dehydration, fabrication process and systems management approach not only in the Makabayan subject component in home and technology but also to a vocational course as food dehydration. The study develops a source material in food dehydration which includes accompanying technological processes for craft production used in the food dehydration industry. This source material maybe beneficial to Makabayan teachers who can integrate a project-based learning strategy in teaching the food dehydration process, dehydrator fabrication and a management framework that is simple enough to be integrated into the secondary school curriculum.
By: Mary Rose Florence S. Cobar