top of page

Downstreaming Tilapia As Ice-Cream

Problem Statement : Nutrition Insufficiency in Our Protein Sources


The lack of regular access to nutritious and sufficient food that people experience, especially the poor, the disabled, and marginalized groups who cannot financially, mentally, and/or physically compete with the rest of society - puts them at greater risk of malnutrition and poor health.


Fish is part of our everyday food. The increase in the demand for fish is to be fed. Back in the 1960s, studies show that an average person ate 9.9 kilograms of fish every year. But now, this value amounts to about 19.2 kilograms, and it keeps increasing. The many reasons for this increase are due to worldwide population growth, rising income, and urbanization.


According to calculations from different fisheries, the global demand for seafood consumption is 143.8 million tonnes per year. The overall consumption footprint, which includes other uses of seafood, is a total of 154 million tonnes.


Recently, a report has announced that nanoplastics are found in 100% of sea fish, while farmed fish mostly have antibiotics due to commercialization and industrialization.


This brings us to the several problems as listed below:


  1. Questions on ethical farming of protein - for the livestock quality of life and also consumer health.

  2. Traceability of ingredients; allergens? Locally sourced? Labour ethics? Carbon footprint of each material? Corporate responsibility to consumer, worker, and environment?

  3. Lacking a healthier option for snacks which are typically high in sugar, dairy, cholesterol, etc. Seen as an unhealthy treat rather than wholesome food. Children are attracted to it.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation

Groundbreaking Innovation:

Tilapia Ice-Cream & Downstream


Created by Dr. Dana G. Vera Cruz, founder of the brand Daerrys owned by Vera Bella Enterprises Limited Co., whose institution partner is Central Luzon State University.


The Tilapia Ice Cream has won the International Gold Award on Food Innovation at the Salon International d’la Agroalimentaire (SIAL) ASEAN 2016. Dr. Dana G. Vera Cruz has continued to innovate Tilapia downstream products through value-adding and was provided a project grant of 2 million pesos in year 2015 to 2016 by the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) for the Tilapia Ice Cream and Tilapia Cookies Enhancement and Commercialization. She then represented the Philippines to showcase the product in Salon International d’l Agroalimentaire (SIAL) innovation Exhibits in New York, Paris, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi, Canada, and China in 2016-2017.


The technology


The technology is a patented method of eliminating the fishy flavour and fishy aftertaste of tilapia fish through a series of steps - in cleaning and preparing the fresh fish until finally cooked and made into flakes. These cooked flakes can then be used to produce tilapia ice-cream and other bakery products. The technology includes the following benefits/steps:


  1. Microbial test after each batch

  2. No more fishy flavour even after melting

  3. Refreeze can go back to original taste and texture

  4. No usage of chemical preservatives


This creates an endless possibility of downstream products that are delicious & nutritious which are appealing to babies, kids, and adults alike. With this technology, we are creating a healthier alternative to canned fish products in the world of downstreamed fish products. 


This technology also enables us to extend the shelf life of fish meat (min. 2 months) while increasing food security and nutrition security - a crucial solution in 2021 where UN predicts a catastrophic world shortage of food.

We Are At TRL 9


The actual technology has been proven through successful deployment in an operational setting. This technology is ready for  Partner/Adopters/ Suppliers/Distributors as well as for Licensing/Marketing and R&D Agreement. 




The concept of the Tilapia Ice Cream came from Dr. Tereso A. Abella, the current president of Central State University (CLSU) inspired by the shrimp flavoured ice cream he tasted at Taiwan.   

Until at the year of 2011, the Department of Hospitality Management conducted a culminating activity and featured innovative food recipes of Tilapia.


In 2015, the DA-BAR granted the funding of Tilapia Ice Cream  commercialization with the amount of Php 2,000,000. It paved way to the process optimization of the  product to improve overall product quality.  Chemical, physical and microbial tests was done as part of this product optimization. In addition to the scope of the project funding, packaging selection and shelf-life   determination was also addressed. Towards commercialization of the product the consumer test shows a positive response from the consumers. 


The DOST Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) also funded equipment and machineries to the Tilapia Ice Cream. 


In 2016, Daerrys Tilapia Ice Cream won the 2016 SIAL Gold Award at the event held at World Trade Center in Pasay City, Manila. It bested 350 exhibitors from 25 countries. 




Daerrys Tilapia Ice Cream has different varieties. The current products are cups, sandwiches, and praline. 


Tilapia I ce Cream Original flavor in cup has sizes of 3.5 oz, Pint(16oz), half and one Gallon. The best-seller tilapia ice cream was originally made using Cream, Condensed Milk, Carabao’s milk, Cheese, Nuts, Tilapia Flakes.   


The Tilapia Ice Cream Sandwich is another product variation of Daerrys. It is the sandwich version of the original Tilapia Ice Cream made of graham crackers. 


The Tilapia Praline Crunch is coated with Belgian chocolate and also has caramelized roasted tilapia flakes.         




Today, Daerrys has been registered as a Utility Model(UM) by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines in 2019 and has registered as a Trademark. 


It is currently distributing its product at PCC MILKA KREM and CLSU PCC Outlet, and CLSU UMART.

bottom of page