15 Jan Food Technologist
Ong Beng Chung has been involved in the food business since graduating as a food technologist from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 1992.
Food technologists check raw ingredients and processed food for nutritional value, safety and quality.
They also undertake basic and applied research into aspects of food processing, preservation, quality, deterioration, packaging, storage and delivery.
As the caterer for Global Oak Tree Scholars (GOTS), Ong ensures scholars get a balanced and healthy meal twice a day – breakfast and lunch.
“After graduating, I worked for a trading company and travelled the world over, visiting factories to inspect their ingredients,” says Ong, who turned 50 last November.
“In 2011, I decided to open a restaurant in Bangsar South and kept it until 2016. But in 2015, I also rented space in a school to run its canteen.
“One reason why I did that was I wanted to cook healthy food for school-going children.
“I still service some of my older customers by delivering food to their offices or homes but the focus is on ensuring children get good healthy food when they are in school.
“I am sure some parents give their children fries and fried chicken or take them to fast food joints once in a while.
“We can help by giving them nutritious meals in school and we offer a healthy menu to GOTS in line with the Health Ministry’s guidelines.
He admits the biggest challenge is to find a balance between something that is “yummy” yet nutritious.
“You will be surprised how delicious some of the ‘healthy’ food can be but maybe sometimes, the presentation may not be so appealing to the children.”
He says food is cooked and delivered to GOTS daily – for breakfast and lunch – and he tries to give the scholars a balanced diet with minimal frying and processed food.
“As a food technologist, I also make it a point to calculate the calorie intake of the students for the different age groups,” says Ong.
“I have also asked a friend who is a nutritionist to vet my menu and give me some tips on how to make the food even healthier.”
Keen to know more about GOTS and why we are definitely different?
Log on to www.gots.edu.my