By: John Maico M. Hernandez, DOST-PSTC Batangas
Ready-to-Drink Green and Ripe Mango Juice with Nata technology concluded the Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) Batangas’ TechSilog Online Seminar Series Season 3 aired via Zoom and Facebook live on March 16.
After the four previous episodes of featuring the technologies developed by the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s (DOST-FNRI), the final episode highlighted the Ready-to-Drink Green and Ripe Mango Juice with Nata which gathered a total of 63 participants from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Ms. Abbie L. Padrones, Senior Science Research Specialist at the Nutritional Food Research & Development Section of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute DOST, facilitated the online discussion.
The trend of the National Nutrition Survey results from 1993-2013 shows an increasing rate of Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) from 35.3% in 1993 to 40.1% in 2003. In response to the call to address this problem, DOST-FNRI initiated various programs which propelled a significant decrease of VAD in 2008 (15.2%). Sangkap Pinoy or the Vitamin A Fortification of snack foods and processed foods is one of the most competitive programs that the institute implemented to help combat VAD. Yet, DOST-FNRI’s commitment didn’t stop there as they spinoff more research and development to address this problem. Fruit juices are among the considered vehicles to apply fortifications because they are the most refreshing, nutritious, affordable and highly consumed juices in the country. Given this, DOST-FNRI developed the Ready-to-Drink Green & Ripe Mango Juice with Nata to serve as a good source of vitamins and minerals and help the body against infection.
According to Ms. Padrones, this juice is made up of sugar, sweetened nata de coco, and natural fruit juice from green and ripe mango (carabao variety). It also has dietary fiber from nata de coco, which is a cellulosic biomass made from aerobic fermentation of coconut milk and water. Constipation, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other disorders can all be avoided and treated with fiber hence, this juice is a good source of such.
The process flow in producing this juice was also presented by Ms. Padrones. She discussed every detail of the production beginning from raw materials, syrup, fortifiers, and other ingredients, to mixing ingredients all together using a cooker-mixer, pasteurization and packaging. List of some of the equipment used in processing this technology such as colloid mill (to liquefy the fruit), pulper finisher (bigger version of strainer where the size of the screen depends on the size of the fiber you want to put in the mixture), cooker mixer (for pasteurization purposes) was likewise covered in the discussion. Competitive advantages of the technology include use of natural fruit, no artificial additives, 100% vitamin C and at least 33% vitamin A, good consumer acceptability, and longer shelf life from 6-12 months. In terms of the cost structure, this technology entails cost incurred from R&D (P1.9M), equipment cost (P700,000.00), technology licensing fee (P50,000.00) and its suggested retail price is 15.00 pesos per 200 ml. A “ConsulTalk” segment was allotted after Ms. Padrones’ discussion to address questions and concerns of the participants.
Meanwhile, Samahan ng mga Inang Gabay at Lakas ng Aktibong Komunidad (SIGLA) and Enrique Zobel Foundation, Inc. from Calatagan, Batangas were also given the opportunity to share their experience and growth in pursuing their enterprise on the Complementary food and Rice-Mongo Crunchies production. This technology was also developed by DOST-FNRI in an aim to slay the malnutrition through production of healthy food snacks for school children. Mr. Alvin Kevin Gonzales, Coordinator of Enrique Zobel Foundation, Inc. for SIGLA, and members of SIGLA, shared the progress of their enterprise and demonstrated a gesture of appreciation on how the technology impacted not only their community and the malnutrition reduction but also their lives as production workers of the enterprise.
DOST CALABARZON’s OIC Regional Director, Ms. Emelita P. Bagsit, also partook the last episode and has articulated her appreciation on PSTC Batangas’ constant initiative to promote the DOST-developed technologies through an online seminar platform. She thanked DOST-FNRI for making ties with PSTC Batangas in the promotion of their technologies and encouraged all the participants to adopt DOST-developed technologies. She likewise introduced the iFWD PH program of DOST which provides opportunities for the OFWs and their families in establishing technology-based enterprises.
On the other hand, PSTC Batangas Provincial Director, Ms. Felina C. Malabanan, extended her sincerest gratitude to all the participants who supported the entire season of TechSilog featuring technologies of DOST-FNRI.