Processing mango wastes into phenolic-based products highlights in-house webinar

Processing mango wastes into phenolic-based products was seen as one of the solutions to address the industry’s waste disposal problem as well as augment the income of mango farmers. Various researches were conducted by the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology-University of the Philippines Los Baños (BIOTECH-UPLB) to explore this.

Registered chemist and researcher Arsenia B. Sapin of BIOTECH-UPLB led the discussion on the processing of phenolic-based products from mango wastes during the in-house webinar of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research on 20 December 2021.

Phenolics are compounds consisting of one or more aromatic rings with single or multiple hydroxyl groups. This compound is known for its antioxidant bioactivities and other health-promoting activities.

“We developed phenolic-based products from seeds, branches, and early fruit drops for various applications as a potential source of income for mango processors and farmers,” said Sapin.

Sapin together with Teresita J. Ramirez developed the PhenoFera, a phenolic powder made from mango seed wastes, to be used as an active ingredient in cosmetic products.

“Natural phenolics from mango branches and early fruit drops exhibited high antioxidant and antidiabetic bioactivities that could lead in the development of phenolic-based products with potential use as health supplements providing additional revenues to farmers,” explained Sapin.

“Mango seed is a good source of natural phenolics possessing whitening and anti-wrinkling properties with potential use in the cosmetics industry,” she added.

Cosmetic products developed through mango seed phenolics powder included lotion, shampoo, hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap, and sunscreen products. Meanwhile, the mango branch, bark phenolic powder was processed to make Diaferin, a natural effective health supplement for diabetics. 

Further, a healthy juice for diabetic was developed from early mango fruit drops. The early fruit drops were washed, sorted, peeled, and sliced. After which it is shredded and mixed with pectinase, then filtered through cheesecloth. The puree will then be formulated and heat-processed to become a phenolic-rich juice ### (Rena S. Hermoso)

DA, BAR launch Yamang Lupa SCALE UP Program

Agriculture Secretary William Dar led the ceremonial launching of the Yamang Lupa Sustainable Community-based Action R4DE [research for development and extension] for Livelihood Uplifting and Prosperity (YL SCALE UP) Program held on 3 December 2021 at Garden Orchid Hotel, Zamboanga City.

Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) director Junel Soriano, together with assistant director Joell Lales, spearheaded the activity to discuss the plans and goals for the nationwide implementation of the program.

An upscaling of the 2013 DA-BAR–supported Yamang Lupa Program (YLP): Adoption of the Bhoochetana Principles in the Philippines, the YL SCALE UP Program is expected to cover thousands of hectares of rainfed and upland areas in the country.

With DA-BAR as the funding and lead coordinating agency and the DA-Bureau of Soils and Water Management, three YLP projects were carried out by Southern Luzon State University, in partnership with DA CALABARZON; DA Eastern Visayas with Visayas State University; and DA Zamboanga Peninsula with the Western Mindanao State University. 

The three-year pilot projects collaborated with 3,705 farmers for the stratified soil sampling and analysis of a total of 32,903.30 hectares; and the generation and distribution of 2,528 soil health cards—a one-page information material that reflects general information of the farmer, soil macro and micronutrient analysis and the respective crop and soil management recommendations, among others. The projects also packaged and provided the best bet options of technologies in response to the results of the analysis conducted. 

Another highlight of the event was the signing of a memorandum of understanding where DA-Zamboanga Peninsula, led by Regional Executive Director Rad Donn Cedeño, and four state universities and colleges–Western Mindanao State University, J. H. Cerilles State College, Mindanao State University-Buug Campus, and Jose Rizal Memorial State University, signified their commitment to collaborate with DA and DA-BAR in implementing the program.

The YL SCALE-UP Program will implement and further harness the adapted science-led soil revival strategies and management practices toward boosting the productivity of farmers and strengthening their coping mechanisms amidst climate anomalies. ### (Mara Shyn M. Valdeabella)

UPLB turns over edible landscape garden to DA

In line with the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Plant, Plant, Plant program and its efforts towards establishment of food-resilient communities amidst the pandemic, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) turned over the Edible Landscape (EL) garden to DA on 20 December 2021 at the DA Central Office grounds, Diliman, Quezon City.

Dubbed as “Hardin ng Kalusugan at Pagkain,” the garden is established to promote EL in urban communities as an additional source of available, fresh, and nutritious food for every Filipino family. 

The said initiative is part of a project titled, “Magtanim ng Gulay Para sa Isang Masagana, Malusog, at Makulay na Buhay,” funded by the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research. 

Agriculture Secretary William Dar and UPLB professor and former chancellor Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr. led the ribbon cutting ceremony and the symbolic turn-over of a shovel—symbolizing sustainable food production, through Edible Landscaping, to help address food and nutrition security. Joining them were the key officials of the department.

Dr. Sanchez, Jr., project leader and head of the UPLB EL team, acknowledged DA and DA-BAR for its support in urban agriculture promotion.

“This project was inspired by our wanting for more food in urban areas and we thought that it is important to start this at the Department of Agriculture. The basic thing is organic and what you see here are organic vegetables and they are dispersed inspired by Usec. Evelyn [Laviña]. We thought that this mix of things that are beautiful and edible are ideal at this point in time especially we thought that the DA should really be the model for that,” DA Undersecretary for Regulations Engr. Zamzamin Ampatuan said in his message.

The concept of the design for the DA demo garden was based on the logo of the department while the metal stand of the marker symbolizes and encourages crop production and urban agriculture.

Edible crops used are eggplant, tomato, bush sitao, tarragon, radish, mustard, pechay, sili, and variegated calamansi, with a combination of some ornamental plants such as marigold and vinca. ### (Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino)

MOA seals project on tomato production management

The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and the DA-Bureau of Soils and Water Management-National Soil and Water Resources Research and Development Center for Hillyland Pedo-Ecological Zone (BSWM-NSWRRDC-HILLPEZ) forged a research for development (R4D) partnership project on integrated nutrient management for soil and tomato productivity on17 December 2021 at the center in Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal.

Aligned with DA-BAR’s initiative to assist and strengthen the R4D programs of DA-BSWM on soil fertility and crop productivity, the project titled, “Development of Integrated Nutrient Management Strategy for Improving Soil and Tomato Productivity,” is funded by the DA-BAR.

The project shall package an integrated nutrient management strategy for tomato in collaboration with the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology-University of the Philippines Los Baños and tomato growers. Specifically, it intends to quantify the effect of integrating chemical fertilizers, organic amendments and microbial inoculants on soil properties and growth of tomato. 

Through integrated nutrient management strategy, balanced fertilization can be achieved to enhance soil fertility, hence, increase tomato productivity.

DA-BAR director Dr. Junel B. Soriano and assistant director Joell H. Lales; and DA-BSWM director Engr. Pablo M. Montalla and NSWRRDC-HILLPEZ chief Joven P. Espineli led the MOA signing. Joining them to witness are the key officials and staff of the two bureaus. 

Director Soriano, in his message of support, emphasized the bureau’s continuous search 

for collaborations to implement relevant R4D programs in support to the attainment of the DA’s vision for a productive and profitable agriculture sector. He also encouraged the various centers of the DA such as the NSWRRDC to have programs that are responsive to the needs of the farmers and the industry, and be scalable to reach more beneficiaries. 

Further, he highlighted the DA-BAR’s focus on strengthening policy development through the R4D projects’ outputs under the Research to Policies for Development and Extension (R2P4DE) approach. 

Serving as the implementing agency, NSWRRDC-HILLPEZ is a Research and Development Center mandated to undertake applied and location-specific researches in hillyland pedo-ecological zones—showcasing cost-efficient, socially acceptable and environment friendly soil and water management technologies in hillyland pedo-ecological zones. ### (Raymond Patrick L. Cabrera)

Soybean production and pastry recipes shared in a webinar

Viewed live by 68 people, soybean production and pastry recipes developed by Quirino State University (QSU) were shared during the monthly in-house webinar of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research on 25 November 2021. 

QSU director for extension and professor Dr. Fredisminda M. Dolojan led the discussion of soybean production and pastry products developed by the university.

Through a series of soybean projects implemented by QSU, 70 farmer-members of Diffun Saranay and Development Cooperative were trained on the package of technology for soybean production. Among them, six farmers served as contract growers of the project with six hectares of production and demonstration area. 

Dr. Dolojan reported that, as part of the project, Quirino farmers adopted the NSIC SY08 variety which resulted to a yield of 2,800 kilograms per hectare; planting density of 40-60 kilograms of soybean seeds per hectare; minimum tillage by creating furrows or manual planting using Jabber planter; usage of seed inoculant, Bio N, as well as carrageenan foliar fertilizer.

With the research grant that QSU received, they were able to develop various pastries using soybean flour such as pandesal, loaf, banana bread, butterscotch, and nuggets.

Four adopters were trained to commercialize these products. They were also trained on simple record keeping to track the return of expenses.

Soya butterscotch, soya nuggets, and soya banana bread recipes and product demonstration were shared. 

QSU forged a memorandum of agreement with Far East Broadcasting Company Philippines through the 1143 DZMR radio station to share and promote the various soya products. QSU holds a weekly demonstration on the processing in the program Magandang Umaga Mommy which airs from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. 

“The Soya Team of QSU is willing to share these technologies on soya production and products, you may visit us at the Extension Training Services Department or contact us through mobile number (0917) 653 2478 or email fredisminda.dolojan@ qsu.edu.ph,” ended Dr. Dolojan. ### (Rena S. Hermoso)