By: Ellgine Libao
To prepare for establishment of in-house wine production facility, DOST PSTC Batangas, in coordination with Cavite State University, conducted a technology training on dragon fruit wine processing for V & S Dragon Fruit Farm in Brgy. Sa Joaquin, Sto. Tomas, February 8.
Dragon fruit as it is popularly known in the Philippines belongs to the Family Cactaceae under the genus Hylocereus and Selenicereus. It is a native plant from Mexico, Central and South America where they are called “pitaya” or “pithaya”. In Batangas, common site for dragon fruit farming is at Padre Garcia, Ibaan, Rosario and recently rising in Sto. Tomas.
Ms. Sernie Manila, owner of family-operated V & S, got interest in farming after her retirement from government service in National Food Authority seven years ago. It was Mr. Ben Manila’s passion influenced by the topographical condition of Sto. Tomas which led the two and her family into dragon fruit farming. The idea of venturing into dragon fruit farming rooted from their research on the health benefits that dragon fruits have.
A tour in the farm marked the start of the technology training. Dr. Teddy F. Tepora, Director for Extension Services and Program Leader for Dragon Fruit R&D of Cavite State University, gave Mr. Manila several advise on pest control as well as light installation on each dragon fruit plant. After the tour, lecture about dragon fruit was discussed as well as its nutritional composition was also detailed out during the discussion. Afterwards, dragon fruit processing demonstration was conducted and Dr. Tepora, mentioned that washing and sanitation is critical in wine processing because cross-contamination must be prevented to allow yeast to grow in the solution. Moreover, the fermentation bottle was advised to be kept in cool dark place. A discussion on proper plant layout for wine production ended the training.