The School of Arts and Sciences- Nutrition and Food Sciences departments, and in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Zahle and Bekaa, organized its 4th annual Food Production Fair at LIU Bekaa. This year, the day’s major theme was the production of chocolate. Many industries and food companies from Bekaa and Lebanon participated in this event: Ethel Chocolate, Talaya water, Abbott, 3 Chef and Nescafe. The event was attended by the Bekaa Academic and Administrative directors, Dr. Ahmad Faraj and Mr. Bassem Hazimeh respectively, representatives of Bekaa and Lebanese industries, and a crowd of instructors and students.
After the Lebanese and university anthems, Ms. Mira Fikany, coordinator of the Nutrition department welcomed the public and mentioned in her word the importance of this event in strengthening the connection between university students and food companies working in Bekaa region and in Lebanon. Also, this event highlights every year an important food production process known in Lebanon and gives the companies the opportunity to expose their products. Ms. Fikany also thanked these companies and everyone who participated in the success of this event.
Then, Dr. Sami El Khatib, assistant dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, had an important word in which he highlighted the effects of the scientific and academic research over the years that lead to the consecutive industrial revolutions and to the technological advances that have been reached today. According to Dr. El Khatib, this development allowed the production of huge quantities of food to fulfill the needs of populations; otherwise, people would surely suffer from food scarcity. Dr. El Khatib ended by mentioning the importance of this event in giving the students opportunities for future integration in the labor market.
The first talk was given by Mrs. Gloria Hanna, representative of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Zahle and Bekaa who informed the public about the evolution of the role played by the Chamber over the years in its environment through services offered to both private and public sectors. She also stressed on the importance of these activities in developing the agricultural sector in Bekaa area. Mrs. Hanna encouraged everyone to benefit from the trainings and continuous education offered by the chamber to ensure in the future safety of all products in our markets.
Then, and in order to highlight in details the process of chocolate production, Ethel Chocolate represented by Mrs. Joelle Saade and engineer Maya Ammoury had a seminar entitled: “Chocolate, a yummy treat, how it’s made?”. Mrs. Saade started by introducing to the public Ethel Company’s history and evolution, then explained all the different steps needed to transform the cacao seeds to the final product, chocolate. She also gave the public practical advices to help them self-evaluate a chocolate quality. Then, engineer Maya Ammoury covered the safety and quality control aspect of chocolate production to ensure a safe end product to the consumer.
Last but not least, Talaya water represented by the engineer Nidal Jazzar and Mrs. Ingrid Kassab had a short presentation in which they introduced Talaya water to the public, explained about their water’s characteristics and informed the public about the new packaging used to bottle their water.
Certificates and trophies of appreciation were distributed to the participating companies in recognition of their efforts and valuable participation in this event.
The Fair then was launched and the attendees had a chance to visit the different stands prepared by the participating companies and the students under the supervision of Mr. Alaa Abou Dib.
Abbott Nutrition explained for the visitors the importance and uses of their milk formulas and prepared shakes for tasting. From their part, 3 Chef exposed their Brazilian food products and presented a video showing their process of production.
As for Nutrition and Food Sciences students, they prepared impressive stands covering different aspects of chocolate and coffee production and other food innovations in an amazing context for each stand. The public had also the opportunity to taste these products and get the recipes. Major innovation and ideas included: white coffee, quality assessment of chocolate, pickled eggs, diet and white chocolate, zucchini chocolate cake, ginger cookies, bread pack, arishe and carrot jam, mushroom jam and chocolate mushroom, sweet cheese and tomatoes, chocolate blooms and chocolate salty peanut sweets.
At the end of the day, Dr. Sami El Khatib had an impressive word in which he thanked each and every one for their efforts in making this day a real success and certificates of participation were distributed to all the students in a convivial atmosphere.