MMSU prof creates pink noodles from dragon fruit peel
A faculty member from the MMSU College of Industrial Technology has invented pink noodles from dragon fruit peel.
Fairie Anne Acebedo-Domingo, assistant professor of Food Product Development who specializes in food technology was able to register her innovation with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).
While currently not available on a commercial scale, the pink noodles showcases the innovative streak of Prof. Domingo capitalizing on the abundance of the dragon fruit while helping Ilocos Norte's drive to be the dragon fruit capital of the Philippines.
Similar to the trash-to-treasure principle of the famed Cebu mango biorefinery plant, Prof. Domingo hopes to transform the waste product from dragon fruit, which is the peel, into a delectable product.
"I was actually targeting production of jams and baked goods, and I didn't want to throw away the peel. I got to thinking how can I use the peel to minimize waste? That's when I thought of incorporating it with the flour and make noodles out of it. It's just a by-product," she said.
"This innovation is not just for the sake of quirkiness," Prof. Domingo said, emphasizing that some of the technologies from the dragon fruit product development are being taught to dragon fruit farmers as an extension activity of MMSU. This way, the farmers and their families can make value-added products from the fruit.
Meanwhile, the utility model (UM) for pink noodles was born out of a patent writeshop that IPOPHL conducted in MMSU in 2014. Historically, UM applications with the IPOPHL has been dominated by resident filings, considering it is more affordable and relatively easier to acquire than invention patents. The UM is intellectual property dealing with minor improvements.
"IPOPHL conducted training on patent drafting before, and this was what I drafted. Luckily it was approved and registered. There are other UMs that we are thinking of developing and submitting to IPOPHL," added Prof. Domingo declining to disclose them.
IPOPHL's Documentation, Information, and Technology Transfer Bureau organizes Patent Search and Patent Drafting Writeshops to help IP creators to commercialize their research. The Bureau of Patents' examiners lead these writeshops on patent drafting.
MMSU researchers, many of whom are uninitiated in methods of patent drafting, are among the many who have benefitted from this program.
In this program, participants are required to bring at least one technology (invention, utility model or industrial design) for drafted and eventually filed with IPOPHL at the end of the writeshop, thus, obtaining intellectual property protection for their work.