DeKUT to Mass Produce Coffee Flavored Yogurt

The signing of the license agreement between Wakulima Dairy and Dekut

On Friday the 13th, Dekut, in collaboration with Mukurweini Wakulima Dairy is expected to launch the coffee flavored yogurt. Students of Dekut have been enjoying this product from the Dekutes shop. However, after Friday, the product should be available in retail outlets countrywide, courtesy of the the Wakulima Dairy company. This is after the company and Dekut signed a license agreement to that effect on 21st September.

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Dekut, through the Institute of Food and Bio-resources Technology, developed and patented a new premium quality coffee extract for use as a natural flavor for yogurt. It is this patented flavor that the university has licensed to Wakulima Dairy. On their part, the dairy is supposed to mass produce the yogurt and oversee its retail distribution across the country. The IFBT has been responsible for various innovations, including the “Berrydew Wine” which was show cased at last year’s Kabiruini Agricultural Show.

The Berrydew wine produced by IFBT

So far, the university produces five types of yogurt flavors: Strawberry, Vanilla, Coffee, Chia and Bamboo. They are available at the Dekutes Shop at the low prices of sh. 45 and sh. 80. This success is attributed to the practical sessions that IFBT students are involved in. Additionally, Dekut has a thriving coffee technology center, which has driven such innovation. According to the IFBT director, Dr. Eddy Owaga; out of the 684 acres that make up the Dekut farm, 302 acres have coffee.

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The yogurt will be marketed as Royal Coffee Flavored Yogurt. Its successful launch is likely to pave way for more partnerships between industry players and the university. Hopefully, the university will be more involved in commercially viable production ventures. We already saw glimpses of this bright future when the Covid pandemic broke out and the university was at the forefront in manufacturing and providing much needed goods.

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The Industrial Chemistry department came up with an alcohol based sanitizer which was soon being sold to members of the public. On their part, our engineers developed a ventilator, which was presented to the Ministry of Health. The fashion department was also in partnership with the Laikipia County government, which saw manufacturers from the county being trained in the production of Personal Protective Equipment. The partnership also involved mass production of ventilators and hand sanitizers.

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If the university continues like that, it will soon be creating jobs for students. Moreover, with the Science Park and DeHUB in play, there is no reason why successful companies should not arise, including startups by students. The entrepreneurial spirit being displayed by the institution is likely to rub off on students and encourage them to strive to be job creators and not job seekers, especially since there have never been enough jobs for the youth in Kenya. Indeed, innovations by students, such as Rona and Plant Signal, have already shown promise and have a fair chance of being transformed into profitable startups. This seems like the way to go.

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