The SRC fervently believes that
the creation of value-added products is a viable means
of stimulating growth in the agricultural sector, and
will positively impact other industries. It is against
this background that extensive work is carried out by
the SRC to develop various value-added products from
local agricultural crops. The following is an overview:
FOOD SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The SRC prior to its restructuring
activities in 2003, carried out its food
technology activities through its Food Technology
Institute (FTI). The activities are now performed through
the joint efforts of the Product Research and Development
Division and the Process Development Division. FTI was
developed to facilitate the production and growth of
the agro-processing industry, and has over the years
concentrated on developing and transferring technologies
to this sector. Numerous formulations and technology
packages are available at the SRC. A number of new
food products have been developed from local raw materials
for commercialization and subsequent divestment to the
private sector. These activities provide socio-economic
benefits to our nation in areas such as income generation
and employment creation. The production of value-added
products has stimulated demand for agricultural crops,
thereby increasing market size for agro-products and
creating farming opportunities.
VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS -
SRC has developed numerous products
from local crops e.g. flour from yam and breadfruit
and chips from banana, potato, plantain, breadfruit.
It has also developed numerous condiments, preservatives,
liqueurs, jams & jellies
- SRC assisted in the development
of a local Sorrel industry, which has created benefits
to farmers of sorrel and other agricultural materials
(sugar, ginger, mango, guava, spices), and service
providers such as labourers, truckers, processors,
packers and distributors.
- Three sorrel products were
successfully launched, and others are market-ready.
A number of sorrel products are also ready for divestment
to local entrepreneurs. The export of sorrel products
to the United States, Canada and some Caribbean islands
generates valuable foreign exchange. Other overseas
markets are being explored.
- Successfully developed a suit
of sorrel products under the ‘Hope Gardens Jamaica’
label, namely: Hope Gardens Jamaica Sorrel Squash,
Guava Sorrel Squash, Mango Sorrel Squash, Sorrel Chutney
– spicy and original flavours, sorrel liqueur,
sorrel topping and two sorrel sauces.
- AWARD WINNING CHUTNEYS - The
Hope Gardens Jamaica Sorrel Chutney was launched in
late 1997. It was voted “Best
New Food Item” for 1997, by the Jamaica
Observer Table Talk Award. In 1999 the Hope Gardens
Spicy Sorrel Chutney was launched for chutney lovers
with a preference for very spicy taste. It won
international recognition when it too won the
‘Best New Food Item Award’ offered by
the Canadian Association of Specialty Foods at the
Canadian Fine Food Show in 1999.
PEA SOUPS – The
SRC recently released four new, traditional Jamaican,
soups: gungo peas with meat and gungo peas without meat,
red peas with meat and red peas without meat. These
products were sold to the Jamaican Agro-Processors Association
(JAPA). The SRC will provide training and assistance
to JAPA to facilitate quality and standards.
- A vegetable patty is market ready
and several formulations are available for starting
- SRC has provided training
and technical assistance to numerous individuals,
community groups and institutions/organizations in
various aspects of food processing e.g. Solar drying,
Juice Making and Meat Processing. It is envisioned
that this will contribute to the development of sustainable
businesses, especially in the agro-economy.
- MUSHROOM PRODUCTS – jam,
soup mix, mushroom flavoured cake mix and pickle were
developed by the SRC.
- SRC provided technical assistance
and spawn to farmers facilitating the commercial production
and sale of local mushroom. It successfully established
a composting system, using mushroom and other organic
waste generated by the SRC. Compost is now being produced
The Tissue Culture Unit (functions now performed by
Process Development Division) engages in activities
aimed at increasing the competitive position of the
Jamaican agro-industrial sector through the production
of high quality disease free planting materials, and
the development and selection of improved cultivars.
The European Union advanced funding for the production
of 500,000 banana plants by Tissue
Culture, for the local banana industry, as part
of an overall support programme for global competitiveness.
Tissue-cultured plantlets that were produced for small
farmers are already showing good results in the field.
Research work is being conducted on the propagation
of fruit plants and root crops; e.g. peach, ackee, coffee,
ginger and dasheen.
Emphasis is placed on the development of value added
products and a nutraceutical
industry. Work is also being done to support the
local essential oils industry. Evaluation and quality
control of the active ingredients in products such as
ginger and citrus, peppermint and lemongrass as sources
of nutraceuticals and functional foods.