USP Campus Director Leatuaolevao Ruby Va’a with USP Food Technology Consultant Professor Lutgarda Palomar and the USP Pride products
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 12 OCTOBER 2017: The University of the South Pacific (USP) was probably the proudest group at the Agriculture Show 2017, when they showcased for the first time a line of locally made products from breadfruit.
Central to the packed booth was Professor Lutgarda Palomar, a Consultant in Food Technology and also a lecturer in food technology at the Alafua Campus of the University.
She and her team have been working researching and testing their ideas on breadfruit and the end results have been showcased not only for Samoa but the delegates attending the Pacific and Global Breadfruit Summit 2017 in Apia this week.
From the breadfruit, the USP team created Breadfruit Jam, Breadfruit Syrup, Breadfruit Flour, Breadfruit Chocolate Chips, Cookies, Ready Mix Breadfruit Pancakes, Mixed Vegetable Pickles, Breadfruit Milk and Breadfruit Juice to name a few.
All the products were branded USP Pride and Professor Palomar and her team are continuing more research on the potential and benefits of breadfruit.
Professor Palomar said there is so much that can be created from breadfruit, and while working on other products, she came to realise that Samoans throw away or do not use ripe breadfruit (ulu pe), and she turned it around and used ripe breadfruit to produce the Breadfruit Syrup.
“All you need is the ripe breadfruit, lime juice and brown sugar, then blend the ripe breadfruit and add the other ingredients,” said Professor Palomar.
USP Campus Director Leatuaolevao Ruby Va’a was one happy woman when she arrived at the USP booth and noticed several delegates for the Breadfruit Summit enjoying and tasting the USP Pride products.
“This is a new development and it blends in well with the USP name, School of Agriculture and Food Technology, and we started doing research and today we witness the outcome,” said Leatuaolevao.
Asked if USP will ever consider going commercial with their USP Pride, Leatuaolevao said they are trialing it out first.
She said Professor Palomar has only been in Samoa a short time and besides researching, she is also teaching at the university.
The products drew a lot public interest especially that breadfruit grows very well in Samoa and much under utilized.
A young farmer from Fasito’o-uta, Sanele Lotomau left his vegetable booth to admire the USP products. He said his family land is full of breadfruit trees with ripe breadfruit damaging the beauty of their family landscape.
He was particularly interested in the simple recipe and way of making the Breadfruit Syrup, and hopes to try it out and perhaps investing in it.
The Agriculture Show 2017 brought out the best from farmers and the colourful display of vegetables, fruits and other crops was enjoyed not only by the public, but also the international representatives to the Pacific and Global Breadfruit Summit.