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Tilapia ice cream hot item among world food experts

/ 12:20 AM July 04, 2016
PROFESSOR Dana Gutierrez-Vera Cruz of  Central Luzon State University holds a trophy that her team received for developing the unique tilapia ice cream. ANSELMO ROQUE / INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

PROFESSOR Dana Gutierrez-Vera Cruz of Central Luzon State University holds a trophy that her team received for developing the unique tilapia ice cream. ANSELMO ROQUE / INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ—The tilapia ice cream developed by a state university here has become a hot item among top food connoisseurs.

It was awarded a gold medal for being a novel dessert among 350 items from 25 countries that were showcased in the Salon International de l’Agroalimentaire (SIAL) Asean Manila 2016 food exhibit at the World Trade Center in Metro Manila. The event was sponsored by a Paris-based global network of shows dedicated to the food industry.

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Tilapia ice cream was also featured in a food show at the Javits Center in the United States. It would also tour the world’s food shows and competitions.

This unusual ice cream flavor was unveiled in September 2011 during a Tilapia Food Festival put up by the College of Home Science and Industry (CHSI) of  Central Luzon State University (CLSU) here.

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Tilapia ice cream has since undergone product enhancement through a grant provided by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Research.

Little did the research team know that this product was up for big honors.

Prof. Dana Gutierrez-Vera Cruz, who led the CLSU tilapia ice cream research team, said the team accepted the invitation to join the food exhibit without expecting any award or citation.

Conducting yearly shows in different parts of the world that bring in visitors from 194 countries, SIAL partnered with XTC World Innovation for its food exhibit in Manila held in May.

As winner, the CLSU research team was granted the right to use the SIAL innovation logo in advertising the product.

Vera Cruz said 350 cups of tilapia ice cream were sent for display and tasting at the exhibition.

Tilapia flakes are some of the ice cream’s main ingredients. “Our tongue can feel the flakes but there’s no aftertaste of fish,” said Vera Cruz, who is also chair of the CLSU department of hospitality management.

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She said she and her team concocted the tilapia ice cream because of a challenge issued by CLSU president Tereso Abella, a former director of the CLSU Freshwater Aquaculture Center, to come out with various dishes and refreshments using tilapia meat.

The center is one of the agencies involved in the propagation of an improved breed of tilapia, an African freshwater species, in the country.

Three variations have since been added to the original tilapia ice cream line: Tilapia ice cream sansrival, tilapia ice cream praline crunch (with caramelized tilapia flakes), and tilapia ice cream sandwich.

These are available at the Chives Café and Patisserie here which is run by the CHSI.

For garnering an Innovation World Winner award, the tilapia ice cream will be featured in the SIAL Paris 2016 food exhibit from Oct. 16 to Oct. 20.

The affair is described by SIAL as “the world’s largest food innovation exhibition.”

SIAL collaborated with the Specialty Food Association, a 3,200-member community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs, and the Comexposium group, one of the world’s leading event organizers, to undertake the exhibition in Paris Nord Villepinte.

The tilapia ice cream will be included in the World Champions Tour in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Nov. 9–12, followed by a tour in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 5-7.

Next year, the product will be featured in Toronto, Canada (May 2-4), Shanghai (May 18-20) and Manila (June 7-9).

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TAGS: experts, Food, ice cream, news, Regions, Tilapia
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