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Philippine Produces Alternative UPS, Paper-Based Device for SMEs

Three agencies within the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) in the Philippines are collaborating to develop a power backup system with the same functionality as the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), as well as a low-cost, user-friendly, and durable paper-based device that can be used by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to measure the health content of their beverages.

The Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI), in its desire to provide an alternative solution to interrupted power supply and outages, has developed a sturdy modular design fabricated power backup system using locally available materials and is simple and easy to operate and maintain as well.

Parameters such as current, temperature, and relative humidity that may affect the systematic operation of the power backup system is on the prescribed scale and do not affect its reliability, durability, and efficiency.

– Fortunato Dela Peña, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology

Peña added that the system has been tested on equipment installed in the DOST–ITDI Modular Multi-industry Innovation Centre, including a pressure filter, blast freezer, slicer, grater, and conveyor. The power backup system has been shown to be effective on high consumption loads without considering the cost and variability associated with its backup storage.

The alternative UPS provides an uninterruptible energy source for large equipment operations. It can switch from utility to backup mode in less than a second, providing continuous power to avoid total equipment shutdown during a power outage. In addition, the National Metrology Laboratory of the DOST-ITDI has prepared a guidance document for fuel dispensers like those utilised in gas stations.

On the other hand, researchers from the University of the Philippines created a low-cost, user-friendly, and durable paper-based device for detecting the Total Polyphenol Content (TPC) of tea-based beverages, notably Sweet Potato Leaf Extract (SPLE)-based tea beverage products, that can be employed by SMEs.

The study that is supported by the DOST Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) and Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) titled “Paper-based Device for the Detection and Quantification of Total Polyphenols in Plant-based Beverages for Quality Assurance Purposes,” researchers saw the need for local manufacturers to check polyphenol levels to ensure food quality.

Since such assessment equipment is expensive, the researchers created a dependable and affordable version for SMEs. They developed a paper-based device (PBD) that might be used instead of traditional TCP equipment. These PBDs can do analysis while providing benefits such as ease of manufacturing and use, cost-effectiveness, and user accessibility.

Because the equipment used to evaluate TPC can be expensive, complex, time-consuming, and require the expertise of a professional analyst, SMEs and some major firms in the Philippines are sometimes prevented from undertaking proper quality control of their food items.

However, according to this study, the PBD not only equals the performance of its instrumental equivalent but also shows that it is immune to interference from sugars and ascorbic acid. Furthermore, under refrigerated storage circumstances, the PBD’s integrity is preserved, and it can be used for up to 57 days.

The PBD’s simplicity, robustness, and low cost ensure that SMEs have a budget-friendly and easily accessible choice for determining the quality of their products. The gadget is now confined to total polyphenol analysis in SPLE-based and other tea-based beverages. As a result, the PBD has a lot of potential to assist enhance the quality of commercially offered beverage goods, which will surely benefit consumers.

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