BANGI: Linaco Resources Sdn Bhd is eyeing further collaboration with academia for growth and sustainability, as evidenced by its signing of a technology licensing agreement with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
The agreement will see the country’s largest coconut producer leveraging on a new fermentation process created by a team from the UKM Faculty of Science and Technology to transform matured coconut water into a healthy beverage, possibly coconut cider vinegar with a longer shelf life, effectively salvaging its waste and diversifying its product portfolio at the same time.
The high impact technology reduces the sugar content in the coconut-based beverage while maintaining the nutrients of coconut water that are beneficial for health.
“We started discussions 12 to 18 months ago, talking about the possibility of developing a product salvaged from our waste, during times when we have too much stock.
“It allows for the expansion of our stock-keeping units (SKUs), as well as enables us to better leverage our existing resources, ” said Linaco managing director Joe Ling.
He also stressed that Linaco’s zero waste movement must align with the sustainability of the business in the long run.
The technology was the result of research led by UKM’s talented young researcher Dr Lim Seng Joe, alongside his team consisting of Prof Dr Wan Aida Wan Mustapha, Dr Mohd Shazrul Fazry Sa’ariwijaya and Dr Babylon Airianah Othman.
UKM Technology Sdn Bhd chairman Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Ekhwan Toriman said “this technology brings value-add to unutilised excess coconut water, in order to help entrepreneurs in the coconut-based industries to increase production capacity to fully benefit from their coconut yields.”
The agreement between Linaco and the local public university’s technology transfer arm is an intensification of an existing private-academia relationship that started one to 1½ years ago with smaller projects.
“We want to foster closer collaboration with both public and private universities in the areas of food science research and development, as well as continue engaging academia in career development for the workforce to create industry-ready talents, ” he said.
The signing of the agreement comes on the back of a handful of other similar endeavours with academia, which Ling is determined to continue moving forward.
In addition, Linaco has further plans in the pipeline to increase its SKUs, starting with two new beverage SKUs next year, namely bandung coconut milk and kurma coconut milk.
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