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NPUST Gives New Layer to Hengchun Onions

NPUST Gives New Layer to Hengchun Onions

The onion, regarded as one of the three treasures of southern Taiwan’s Hengchun Peninsula, is now receiving new attention. Professor Pao-Chuan Hsieh, the father of the famous NPUST Low Salt Soy Sauce, has been leading a team from the Office of Continuing and Extension Education on a project created to help the Hengchun Farmer’s Association develop new products, including one flavorful Onion Soy Sauce brewed with locally cultivated black beans and sweet onion juice.

NPUST vice-president for administrative affairs, Chao-Lin Tuan, explained that the cooperation between NPUST and the Henchun Farmer’s Association was trifold in function: develop more applications for onions, provide consumers with healthy and delicious onion products, and improve the economic situation of local farmers.

Director general of the Henchun Farmer’s Association, Sun-He Lin, said that in order to help farmers increase sales volumes and revenue, they have been actively cooperating with the NPUST Committee for Agriculture Extension. With the R&D expertise of professors at the university we are able to take advantage of locally produced agriculture products in a new way and develop products with great characteristics. In the future, we also plan to integrate industry tourism and work with snack industries to promote the special features of Hengchun and add value to local product. 

Zhi-Wang Yao, director of the Southern District Agriculture and Food Agency said that on the Hengchun Peninsula the production season for onions runs roughly from March to April, with crops covering 600 hectares of land. The produce is used for domestic consumption and for export, but in the past few years, onion prices have been relatively low. In addition to requesting that local farmer’s associations purchase at stable prices, we have also looked to the NPUST Office of Continuing and Extension Education to bring professors on-board to develop onion products which can help to raise consumption quantities and increase prices.

NPUST’s king of food product R&D, Professor Chuan-Pao Hsieh, said that “NPUST was founded on agriculture and assisting famers on everything from production and processing to marketing and sales is a responsibility and duty that we will not abandon. Onions are both healthy and delicious– and now we are using pure onion juice together with Hengchun’s black beans to create a soy sauce that has a unique and more flavorful taste. The onion dregs have also been used to develop a variety of healthy and natural products including onion noodles, onion curry sauce, onion cakes and traditional flavored onion breads, so that the full onions can be made use of and the added value of the onions can be increased.”

Director of the NPUST Office of Continuing and Extension Education, Ke-Chung Peng, explained that “the juice from the onion is extracted and used to brew the soy sauce, while the remaining dregs are used to create a variety of other products. It is a circular economies approach”. He added that “when industry and agriculture have needs, NPUST provides backup; and we encourage young people to head to the countryside to create great farming economies”.

 

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