Faculty of Technology, KKU, holds the Food Product Innovation Contest, aiming at promoting environmental conservation among youths

Tuesday October 3, 2023 – Faculty of Technology, Khon Kaen University organized an activity to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the University. The event was the “Food Product Innovation Contest”, hosted by Asst. Prof. Araya Chaoruangrit, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty, staff members and students. Prof. Thidarat Boonmars, Ph.D., Vice President for Innovation and Enterprise presided over the opening ceremony and gave the opening address, while the Dean Asst. Prof. Araya Chaoruangrit reported. The opening session took place at the Auditorium, Khon Kaen University Science Park, Khon Kaen University.

Asst. Prof. Araya Chawruangrit, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Khon Kaen University explained that the objectives of this project were to enhance the capacity of secondary school students in integrating knowledge from different fields for practical use, to instill environmental conscience by producing nutritional foods from left-over but safe items, and to build a network with organizations outside the university for future collaboration. Lotus, for example, has implemented the work under an MOU to manage the excess in the Project called “Zero Food Waste”. The other objective is to provide guidelines to young students about the future occupation and increase the chance to enter a university. Moreover, students could be trained to become food innovators who are able to join regional and international contests.

The activity went on from 09.00 a.m. to 17.00 p.m. The morning session featured the northeastern secondary school and high-school level contests. Each team consisted of not over 5 members and a supervisor. The contest topic was: Food Waste (Fruit & Vegetable) to Food Sustainability. The contesters had to bring excess vegetables and fruits from Lotus to produce food. There were 6 teams passing to the final round in the Northeast.

The contest was judged by the following 5 committee members:

Chairman: Mr. Niyut Suebsai, Director of the Marketing and Trading Business Promotion Group, Khon Kaen Provincial Commerce Office

First Member: Mr. Prem Sapbunlertma, Manager of the Northeast Organization Sustainability Department, Ekkachai Distribution System, Co. Ltd.

Second Member: Mr. Suwit Jantarit, Manager of Business Development Department, Khon Kaen University Science Park

Third Member: Asst. Prof. Amporn Sae-iaw, Ph.D., from the Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Technology, KKU

Fourth Member: Dr. Pimnipa Hirunsorn from the Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Technology, KKU

The results of the contest are as follows:

First Prize of the high school level: Satree Chaiyaphum School, Chaiyaphum

First Runner-up Prize: Khon Kaen Wittayayon School, Khon Kaen

Second Runner-up Prizes: CAKE IT HAPPENS! Team from Surawiwat School and Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima

The afternoon session was the contest at the undergraduate university level in the Northeast. One team consisted of not over 7 members and a supervisor. The contest topic was Food for Crisis. Eleven teams from the Northeast passed to the final round as follows:

First Prize of the undergraduate level: D4U Team from Khon Kaen University

First Runner-up Prize: Energy Bars Team, Kalasin University

Second Runner-up Prize: MONTO Team from Khon Kaen University

The winning team from Chaiyaphum made Kimji from water melon peel, on the ground that water melon is the local fruit of Chaiyaphum and the students from Satree Chaiyaphum School like eating just the water melon flesh. While more people eat the flesh, more peels are left over. The team therefore made kimji from the water melon peel.

The winning team at the undergraduate level presented their GABA Rester, a supplementary food item containing gaba which is life organism. The product comes in powder in sachets that are easily portable. It can be taken in the form of yogurt or mixed with other dishes to add the toe flavor ant gives useful body energy.

The event was collaborated by many institutions and organizations including: Faculty of Technology, Khon Kaen University, Ekkachai Distribution System, Co. Ltd. (Lotus), and Khon Kaen University Science Park. The event truly provided a venue for students to show their occupational abilities. It aims at having the contesters integrate their theoretical and practical knowledge to develop a product in order to manage food remains or excess food under the concept, “Zero Food Waste”. The contest enhanced all participants to be aware of the management of remaining stuff or left-over foods through a creative idea by making a menu. Moreover, the students of the faculty joined to take care of the young school students, make friends with them, and hence good institutional image. They also learned to solve problems systematically in accordance with the life-long learning principle for the 21st Century graduates who care for the environment.

News: Pratheep Thae-wongsa

Photos: Supat Boonkaew



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