Food Pilot Plant supports the growth of the local food industry through the utilization of indigenous and local crops to produce new food products, and the provision of training and technical assistance to food processors. Traditionally known as the Food Technology Institute (FTI), it nurtures and supports cottage industries and provides incubation services for micro, small and medium-sized entities. The Pilot Plant offers training courses and workshops in food processing activities. It is also involved in evaluating and improving food-processing methods as well as transfer of technology to the Jamaican Society.
One of the technologies developed by the Food Pilot Plant is that of improving the shelf life of coconut water, from 2-3 days to 2 weeks, without destroying its nutritional value.
Some products developed
The SRC has developed a suite of pea soups – vegetarian and non-vegetarian and mannish water (goat soup); minimally processed foods – yellow-yam, green banana and sweet potato; jerked seasoning and smoked products and a variety of exotic condiments, juices and preserves. Some of the products developed involve the use of breadfruit, yam and potato to make flour and chips; fruits such as mango, pineapple and june-plum (golden apple) to make jams and jellies; sorrel to make squash, chutney, sauce and topping; and banana to make chips, figs and clarified banana juice. Many of its products are market-ready.