The Food Engineering Department at the Bandung Institute of Technology held another guest lecture to add insight and equip students with the application of the knowledge they had learned in class. This guest lecture was held in the PG4023 lecture on Processed Beverage Technology on Friday, November 20, 2020 with the theme “Introduction to the Beverage Industry in Indonesia and the Challenge of Typical Raw Materials” presented by Mr. Andy Murphy, head of the Research and Development section of PT Suntory Garuda Beverages SGB).
This industry is still growing at a fairly high rate even in the midst of a pandemic. The types of drinks with the biggest sales starting from the highest are bottled drinking water, tea drinks, fruit and juice flavored drinks, carbonated drinks, coffee drinks, and isotonic and energy drinks.
Each type of drink has its own technological complexity and challenges, especially in terms of food safety and quality stability during shelf life. For example, packaged tea drinks have a neutral pH so they are more ideal for the growth of harmful microbes; tea drinks are also prone to oxidation during storage which can result in loss of tea flavor and aroma.
Likewise, there are challenges in designing beverage products in order to meet consumer demands and expectations. “In designing beverage products that will be sold to the market, it is necessary to think about what problems can be solved with this product,” said Mr. Andy Murphy.
To meet changing consumer demands and the increasingly competitive beverage industry market, innovation in beverage processing is also important, including the use of Indonesia’s biodiversity as raw material for beverages. Indonesia has a variety of distinctive raw materials such as coconut water as the main ingredient for nata de coco, seaweed for carrageenan production, and extracts from the porang plant as a substitute for konjac gum.
“The problem is that the Indonesian nation generally prefers to export raw materials and then import materials that have been processed abroad at a much higher price, compared to processing it at home,” he said.
In closing, he conveyed various challenges in the processed beverage industry that can be solved by Food Engineering graduates. The first is innovation in product design to reduce levels of sugar, salt and fat without compromising the taste quality of the product. Second, innovation in plastic packaging is needed to protect the environment, for example by looking for alternatives to materials that are more biodegradable, new methods of recycling, or new business plans to produce a more sustainable industry.
Participants in the guest lecture were very enthusiastic and asked many questions, most of which Mr. Andy answered immediately. The three-hour lecture was closed with a certificate handover by the Head of the Food Engineering Study Program, Dr. Ronny Purwadi, and also a group photo event.