THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Monday said that it found another emerging important use of nipa (Nypa fruticans)—healthy sugar.
DOST’s food researchers at the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) have started developing the technology for the production of nipa sap sugar in 2010, aside from another benefit such as using its material for bahay kubo (Filipino thatched hut) and tuba (nipa wine).
The product was already being produced locally, but the research team led by Engr. Norberto Ambagan and Elsa Falco of ITDI’s Food Processing Division (FPD) saw the need to improve the current practice in processing nipa sap for sugar.
With funding from the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), the research team conducted a survey among local processors, which confirmed their premise. Field trials followed and preliminary results a 15 percent average yield.
“We introduced some innovations to standardize the process and be able to produce sugar of better quality at a competitive cost,” Falco, the product development lead, said in a statement.