NEWS (August 18– August 24, 2008)

 

DOST conducts training on dragonfruit processing

 

By Julie Ann A. Arciaga

DOST-1

 

The Department of Science and Technology Region 1 (DOST-1) conducted a Training on Dragonfruit Processing on August 6-7, 2008 at the REFMAD Farms in Burgos, Ilocos Norte.  Eleven participants, including two (2) dragonfruit farm owners of Ilocos Norte participated in this two-day training organized under the S&T Experts Volunteer Pool Program (STEVPP) of DOST.  Mayor Crescente Garcia of Burgos, Ilocos Norte attended the activity.

From a rare cactus plant, the dragonfruit, sold at prestigious commercial centers in the country and hardly found in the supermarkets, is a very delectable fruit when eaten fresh & chilled.  The exact origin is unknown, but is likely from Southern Mexico and became popular in other parts of Asia.  It is cultivated around the world in tropical regions. 

The training was conducted to equip farm owners and workers of the methods in processing the dragonfruit.  It has been undertaken to provide them appreciation on dragonfruit as a fruit that can be processed and become marketable as the mango, ube, banana, pineapple & other known processed fruits. 

Ms. Maria Elsa M. Falco of the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) of the DOST served as the resource person for the training.  She discussed the different aspects and processes in fruit preservation. 

Farm owners, Mrs. Edita Dacuycuy and Mrs. Nenita Tangonan, of Pasuquin and Bacarra, respectively, both actively participated in the hands-on demonstration.  They were acquainted on processing the fruit into jam, jelly, chutney, ready-to-drink juice, & wine.  The dragonfruit can also be made into chips & delicious pastillas. Equipment used in the processing was introduced to the participants.  She also provided the trainees with the list of authorized equipment fabricators and suppliers of packaging materials.

Engr. Fehlander Madriaga, Provincial S&T Director, on the other hand, expressed his appreciation for the eagerness of the dragonfruit farmers & their willingness to adopt the processing technologies.  Moreover, the participants were informed of the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP) of DOST where they can avail of assistance in the future in terms of new technologies, technical manpower training & access to capital. 

SET-UP is aimed at establishing new technology based enterprises or strengthening the competitiveness of existing micro, small, and medium enterprises in various parts of the country.

 

 

 

Ilocos Times copyright 2008

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