On 19 June 2023, NSTDA hosted a press event to introduce FoodSERP or a service platform for food & functional ingredients designed to support the food and cosmeceutical industry. The platform is made up of wide-ranging facilities and experts in product design, pilot-scale production, product quality assessment and product registration.

Dr. Kobkul Laoteng, Director of BIOTEC Functional Ingredients and Food Innovation Research Group, revealed that the food industry is an important sector that drives the Thai economy, contributing billions of dollars in export values. Under the new trends, customers look for food products that are healthy and committed to the environment and sustainable production. With rich and diverse bioresources, Thai food producers have enormous potential to delivery products responding to these trends.                       

FoodSERP has been established by NSTDA to function as a one-stop-service center that supports enterprises to develop and launch products from functional ingredients and alternative proteins to special diets and functional extracts. With fully equipped facilities and multidisciplinary team, FoodSERP offers full services ranging from product development and production to product testing and registration, ready to help enterprises bring ideas to market. 

FoodSERP has two pilot-scale production facilities for manufacturing products for market testing, quality evaluation and product registration. BIOTEC Bioprocessing Facility (BBF) is a food-grade facility for the production of GM and non-GM microorganisms in compliance with international standards including Codex GHPs & HACCP (Good Hygiene Practices and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) and GILSP (Good Industrial Large-Scale Practice). Nanoparticles and Cosmetics Production Plant offers broad services regarding cosmetic production, including trial small scale production for product test analysis or market survey, scale-up production, and semi-industrial scale production with the ASEAN GMP Cosmetic standards.                       

Dr. Kobkul added that apart from pilot production, FoodSERP also provides the following services to boost the heath food and cosmeceutical industry:

  • Development of functional foods, plant extracts, and cosmeceuticals. The services also extend to market studies and clinical studies for product registration.
  • Development of alternative proteins and personalized foods employing technologies such as extrusion and 3D food printing.
  • Efficacy and safety testing services for food and cosmetic products: sensomics analysis for aroma and flavor, IDDSI tests for food textures and drink thickness, dynamically simulated gut model for testing human digestion and intestinal absorption, tests for anti-melanogenesis and antioxidative effects, skin tests (2D human skin cells, ex vivo human skin explants, and 3D human skin tissues), and a zebrafish model for determining the toxicity of chemicals on embryonic stages of fish.

Packaging is also another important component of product design and development. FoodSERP helps enterprises develop innovative, eco-friendly packaging to extend shelf life of fresh foods, fruits and vegetables, and offers analytical services to test quality and performance of plastic containers.

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