STeP’s COVID-inspired innovations

 |  November 23, 2020


STeP, if you haven’t heard of it, is one of the coolest things in Chiang Mai.

Since its inception a few years ago, the Science and Technology Park, Chiang Mai University (STeP), has incubated, nurtured, invigorated and added value to a number of innovations and startups. Some truly game changing ideas have seen inception to commercial success, thanks to the forward thinking minds and generous support of STeP.

One area in particular which SteP has, ahem, stepped up on, is food innovation. “Our lifestyles are changing rapidly, and this is why food innovation is so important these days,” said Assistant Prof. Dr. Pitiwat Wattanachai, Deputy Director of STeP, who went on to explain that it was not just the physical side of food – its presentation, tastes, nutritional value, and energy – but also how food reacts and relates to other fields such as health and technology.

Jasmine rice and hung-le curry

With medical professionals working overtime this year, STeP had to support their important endeavours by finding sustenance solutions which were tasty and convenient. This pre-packaged jasmine rice and hung-le curry is the ideal solution. A palatable and popular dish, the packaging has been innovated so that it is easy to open, resists spoiling, and importantly can be eaten at room temperature on the go, without the need of a microwave. The sterilisation process is the key.

Freeze dry mango

With a surplus of fresh mangos struggling to find markets this year, STeP has challenged its processing plant to innovate. The freeze dried mango which dehydrates the mango, retains the full-flavoure of the fruit while turning it into a crunchy snack. Other products have also been borne as a result, such as energy drinks and energy gels which have been found to be ideal for apres-excercise.

Electrolyte drinks

These drinks, designed to hydrate, were created by STeP to support the fire fighters working to combat the huge fires earlier this year. Made from vitamin-laden cherry tomatoes, it is good for the immune system and easy to carry. The basic recipe was developed from the Food Innovation and Packaging (FIN).

These products have been donated when needed, and there has also been a system set up for people to donate towards the distribution of these products. They can also be found at the Inno Store at STeP.

If you have a great idea, STeP has an Adoption Startup programme to support Food Tech Startups.