|(Clockwise, starting from left): Marilyn Edrosolan and Zenaida Vinculado of BAI show how to cook skinless longganisa, siomai and burger; Dr. Elena delos Santos of BIARC explains the wonder health benefits from Moringa powder; Dr. Edwin Macaballug of ISU demonstrates how to cook delicious sweet sorghum cookies; Attendees of the seminar take a bite of the products during the taste tests.|
As part of the its 22nd Anniversary Celebration, the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) conducted a demonstration series featuring viable and commerciable products developed by state universities and colleges (SUCs) and partner R&D agencies of DA.
With the theme “Enhancing Entrepreneurship in Agriculture and Fisheries through Technology Commercialization”, the half-day activity featured cooking demonstrations on practical food items and in-demand livelihood opportunities including sweet sorghum and pigeon pea food products, and malungay-based foods.
Sweet sorghum and pigeon pea derived products was presented by the Isabela State University (ISU) headed by Dr. Edwin F. Macaballug and Mr. Raul F. Palaje.
Easy-to-bake chocolate cookies, muffin cake, banana cake, pineapple upside down made from sweet sorghum are among their specialties. The group also presented sweet sorghum syrup for “binalay” – proudly the Ybanag’s indigenous dessert, made from steamed milled glutinous rice wrapped with banana leaf, now with sweet sorghum as syrup. Another unique product is pigeon pea brewed beverage like coffee -which the audience appreciated during the taste tests.
As a food crop, pigeon pea seeds were previously processed only as flour for baking various food products such as cookies and biscuits. This time, other food uses from pigeon pea are being explored. One of these is pigeon pea coffee, which the researchers from ISU also presented during the cooking demo. Roasted pigeon pea seeds brewed like coffee gained good acceptance and positive remarks among those who have tried it.
Meanwhile, malunggay-based products were also featured in the seminar as developed by the Bicol Integrated Agricultural Research Center (BIARC) of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit (DA-RFU) V presented by Dr. Elena B. delos Santos.
Malunggay (Moringa oleifera) trees are generally grown in backyards. Its leaves are popular as a vegetable ingredient in soup, fish, and chicken dishes. However, this lowly vegetable is not just a simple vegetable as it is rich in nutrients that are good for human health.
The leaves of malunggay are loaded with nutrients. It contains twice the protein in milk, three times the potassium in bananas and four times the vitamin A in carrots. Health nutritionists also claim that an ounce of malunggay has the same Vitamin C content as seven oranges. Having Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, provides the capability to detoxify our body from food poisons. It also helps relax and promotes good sleep, promotes healthy digestion and body’s immune system, promotes good circulation and controls blood pressure.
According to Dr. delos Santos, malunggay is also a good source of iron and high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol. It has high calcium content (four times the calcium in milk), that is why lactating mothers in the Philippines are often advised to eat dishes with malunggay leaves to produce more milk for their babies.
With malunggay’s amazing properties, BIARC has developed a number of commerciable malunggay products. Among the products developed are; moringga powder that can be added to soup and sauces, breads, biscuits, burgers, hotdogs, instant noodles and drinks like moringga tea. Moringa polvoron, moringa cookies and the moringa surprise are among their other products that BIARC continuously improves thru research and development.