PhilMech project on mango peels gets citation

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The project to process mango peels into pectin using the technology developed by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) won first place during the agency’s in-house review held recently.

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PhilMech, an agency under the Department of Agriculture, conducts annually an in-house research, development and extension (RDE) review. This activity evaluates the agency projects for their achievement of objectives, application of the proper methodology and determination of issues that should be addressed in order to improve the delivery of results.

The agency’s Evaluation and Management Services Section (EMSS) of the Planning, Management and Information Technology Division (PMITD) organized and conducted the 38th In-house RDE review held at the PhilMech Training Hall, Munoz, Nueva Ecija.

There were 11 projects presented and the winning papers and presenters were: “Development of a Pilot Scale Processing System for the Production of Pectin from Mango Peels (Acceptability Studies),” first place by Ma. Cristina Gragasin; “Field Testing of Probe Meter for Moisture Detection of Selected Grains,” second place by Arlene Joaquin; and “Development of Rolling Corn Mill for Village Operation,” third place, by Michael Gragasin. The winners received plaques and cash awards.

Based on PhilMech studies, the cost to produce pectin from mango peels using agency’s technology costs about P5,600 per kilo, which is lesser than the landed cost of imported pectin made from apple pectin of approximately P27,100 per kilo. The agency’s technology to produce pharmaceutical- and food-grade pectin is undergoing commercialization.

For the “Early Bird Award,” Danilo Gamalog of the agency’s Enterprise Development Division garnered the award for the paper, “Enhancing Entrepreneurial Capability of Postharvest and Mechanization Adopters/Investor through the Provision of Business Development Services.”

Three best posters were adjudged winners from the 10 poster entries. These were: “Utilization of Cacao Pod Husk as Fuel Briquettes, first place by Andres Tuates Jr.; “Development of Rolling Corn Mill for Village Operation,” second place by Michael Gragasin; and “Development of Commercial Products from Cacao Sweatings,” third place, also by Tuates. Plaques and cash awards were also given to the winners.

Members of the board of judges were known specialists in their own fields: Cesar Quicoy, assistant professor, College of Economics and Management, University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Laguna who chaired the board of judges for Best Paper; Rossana Marie Amongo, director and associate professor, Center for Agri-Fisheries and Biosystems Mechanization, College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology, also from UPLB; and Marilyn Patricio, Professor VI and division chief, Crops and Cropping System Division, Research Office, Central Luzon State University (CLSU), also in Munoz.

For the best poster competition, Eduardo Cayabyab, a freelance consultant from Sta. Cruz, Tarlac City, chaired the board of judges that was also made up to Amelia Bautista, research specialist , Industry Services Division, Food Development Center, FTI, Taguig City; and Maria Edrielle Estigoy, knowledge management coordinator, CLSU.

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