Making delicious jam; Poly students help Filipino farmers solve problem of excess tomatoes

17 May 2019

Article featured SP Diploma in Hotel & Leisure Facilities Management graduate, Joan Charlotte Tng. Joan Charlotte was part of a nine-member student team who visited Isabela, Philippines, as part of the SP Learning Express (LeX) programme. The team spent two weeks at the state and realised the problem of excess tomatoes at the farm. The wastage can go up to 50% when the demand for tomatoes is low.  To solve the problem, the team came up with a business proposal – to make tomato jam out of the excess tomatoes – during their time there. Together with the villagers, the team developed a few tomato jam recipes. However, they found out that there was still the problem of low shelf life and high sugar content in the jam. The problem of setting up a Tomato Jam business was also troubling them. After returning to SP, Joan Charlotte and three other students from the same team decided to continue the project and sought mentorship from a Food Science and Technology lecturer. Under the lecturer’s guidance, the team found the perfect recipe that not only is low in sugar but also shelf-life stable. They also devised a business plan for the sale of Tomato Jam. Last October, the team went back to Isabela, Philippines, to transfer their skills and knowledge. SP Programme Manager cum Country Manager for Philippines, Ng Aik Min, also commented that LeX has grown from sending 71 students when it first started out in 2013 to 762 students last year. The main objective of LeX is to allow students to use design and innovation thinking to solve real-life problems and expose them to different cultures. The Tomato Jam project has made close to $1,000 in sales so far and it will be passed on to the next batch of students to further develop it. (Lianhe Zaobao, p7)

Tomato Jam

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