Develop food that caters to local tastes

AL AIN - The importance of developing food products that satisfy the taste of the UAE and the Gulf region was highlighted at a workshop organised on Wednesday by the Faculty of Foods Systems of the UAE University at Jebel Hafeet Hotel.

By Sadiq A. Salam

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Published: Thu 27 May 2004, 9:53 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:32 AM

The workshop was titled 'Food products development in the UAE and beyond.'

Addressing the inaugural session of the symposium, Dr Abdel-Alim Metwally, Dean of the faculty, said, "The food and beverage industries today face an intensely competitive business environment and the product developer, marketer as well as general business manager have to fully understand the consumer preferences and target development and marketing efforts to meet them."

Scholars from the Department of Foods Sciences, Dubai Municipality and some other private companies presented different papers that covered issues like the significance of the development of new food products, trend in worldwide food products development and their reactions. "The challenge before the food professional in the UAE and AGCC countries is to develop and market food products that will create new business ventures, thus we must take into account the local taste and available resources"

The food industry is projected to play a crucial role in meeting the demands of the rising number of job seekers in the AGCC countries throughout the coming years, said Dr Hany Khalil, of the Department of Foods Sciences. Quoting Mr Augusto Lopez Carlos, of the UN economic task force, he said that "the current labour force in the Middle East and North Africa stands at 104 million jobs and that it is projected to swell to 185 million jobs by the year 2020".

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