36 year-old woman creates delicious and healthy food from organic young grapefruit

By DA NANG Today / DA NANG Today
May 16, 2024, 18:53 [GMT+7]

In her efforts to create organic food that is good for health, and increases the value of these products, Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam, a resident of Hoa Minh Ward, Lien Chieu District, Da Nang has diligently conducted research into organic food, and succeeded with her ‘Ngoon Crispy young grapefruit’ products, thereby contributing to promoting organic farming in the city.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam (left) introducing her Ngoon crispy young grapefruit jams to customers.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam (left) introducing her 'Ngoon' crispy young grapefruit products to customers.

About 10 years ago, the 36 year-old woman had an opportunity to meet with farmers, and listened to their story of good harvest, but low prices, along with their concerns about organic farming while participating in programs to respond to calls for rescues of farm produces.

Sympathizing with the hardships and difficulties of farmers, she developed an idea of ​​setting up an organic food business. In late 2021, Ms. Tam had an opportunity to visit an organic grapefruit garden, and realized that farmers work very hard when conducting organic farming but their products cannot compete with commercially- grown ones in the market. This causes direct economic loss to farmers as they suffer from low prices.

“I realized that farmers who have to spend a lot of time, effort, and money on organic farming, but they don't get much in return. This motivated me to do something to increase the value of organic farm produces," Ms. Tam remarked.

Hence, she started to conduct research into organic farm products, and realized that the nutritional and medicinal value of young grapefruit is very high. Young grapefruit contains a lot of vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fiber. Furthermore, grapefruit pectin has been shown to lower blood and liver cholesterol levels. Additionally, grapefruit pectin can cause weight reduction by reducing the rate at which cholesterol is absorbed from foods. Overall, grapefruit is used medicinally to prevent plaque formation in the arteries (atherosclerosis), to protect against cancer growth, to promote weight loss, and for various other purposes. Grapefruit peal is also used as a traditional herbal medicine that can help in eliminating excess mucus or phlegm in throat, as well as reduce coughing.

After many nights of thinking, Ms. Tam came up with an idea of ​​turning young grapefruit into delicious and healthy food. Initially, she made crispy and flexible jam from young grapefruit. She gave her first grapefruit jam products to her friends and relatives to collect their feedback in order to make adjustments to her recipe. After conducting dozens of tests for her products for nearly a year, Ms. Tam finally succeeded with her crispy young grapefruit jam in early 2023.

She has already registered her brand name as a trademark that provides legal protection against unauthorized use, allowing her to take legal action against infringement and counterfeit products. In July 2023, the Nhien Tam Company Limited officially debuted its ‘Ngoon crispy young grapefruit' products to the market.

To make the product truly good for consumers' health, the company adheres to its principle of only using organic young grapefruit as its growers do not use pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers during their growing process.

“Grapefruits are currently sourced by the company from the Sao Mai Farm in Binh Thuan Province with an area of ​​30 hectares, and another one in Hoa Son Commune, Hoa Vang District, Da Nang. These are two  organic farming to supply young grapefruit that meets safety standards for jam making," Ms. Tam remarked.

In its efforts to create quality products to win consumer trust, the company has kept a close eye on all steps of the product development process, starting from the farming, taking sources as raw materials, and turning them into finished products. Accordingly, raw materials go through two strict selection processes to select young grapefruits that are not too big or too small, free of pests, diseases, or cracks. After cleaning, young grapefruit is sliced, ​​and its peel is de-bittered with the company’s exclusive method. The grapefruit then is put into the machine and freeze-dried for 18 hours to dry and crisp it.

According to Ms. Tam, the freeze-drying method helps maintain the effectiveness of active ingredients in young grapefruit, as well as increase its storage life.

With its safe ingredients and closed production process, the Nhien Tam Company Limited’s young grapefruit jams have gained customer trust. The Company has got its ‘Ngoon crispy young grapefruit’ products on the shelf in supermarkets, food stores and distribution centers in such Vietnamese localities as Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, and An Giang. Besides, the company’s products are exported to America and Australia. Currently, the company is focusing on increasing online sales through social media and e-commerce platforms, including shopee, lazada, tiktok that sell thousands of items per month.

In 2023, ‘Ngoon crispy young grapefruit' products of the Nhien Tam Company have been recognized as a typical rural industrial product of Da Nang. Furthermore, Ms. Tam won first prize in the Startup Idea Contest which was organized by the Lien Chieu District Chapter of the Da Nang Women's Union.

In the coming time, Ms. Tam will continue to launch new products, expand her distribution channels to make it convenient for consumers to buy products, and increase online sales through the company’s e-commerce stores. Moreover, Ms. Tam also focuses on finding new grapefruit sources, as well as supporting farmers who want to conduct organic farming practices, contributing to promoting the development of organic agriculture, protecting the environment and human health.

Reporting by LAM PHUONG – Translating by H.L