|By pinoyfarmer | March 4, 2011|
MANILA, Philippines–It is always heartening to hear of positive developments in the different sectors in agriculture. Last week we were updated on the new developments in the pili industry in Bicol. The industry has gone a long way not only in terms of increase in hectarage but also in the improvement of the quality of the processed products. Two ladies who updated us on the latest developments are Dean Marissa N. Estrella of the Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry and Director Ninfa Pelea of the Bicol Consortium for Agriculture Resources Research and Development. Both of them are PhD degree holders and are also involved in pili research. They were together with Rene Bocaya, one of the successful alumni of BUCAF who is marketing manager of Finfish Hatcheries. The two attended the recent food expo at the World Trade Center – Metro Manila. They showed us samples of roasted pili nut in world class packaging produced by C.O.P. Pili Sweets and Pastries of Daraga, Albay. The roasted pili nut with garlic and chili is really export quality. Most of the contents are whole nuts with deliciously soft yet crunchy kernels. Cynthia O. Pereña also developed a new product she calls Wrapsody. This consists of sliced pili kernels that are wrapped with a wrapper made of egg and flour (like lumpia wrapper). Minda Yee of Sorsogon, according to the two ladies, has been successful in commercializing both the kernel oil and pulp oil for food and non-food uses. The kernel oil rivals the more well known olive oil and is used for cooking. It is also ideal as salad dressing. The oil is also an excellent base ingredient for cosmetics like lip balm, lipstick, lotion, ointment and spa massage oil. Erlinda Tan of Camarines Sur is another lady who is commercializing pili oil. Marissa and Ninfa are themselves currently researching on the characterization of pili oil. They report that pili oil is good for managing cholesterol. When used in frying food, the bad cholesterol will go down. It is good for managing one’s weight, they said. From every 100 grams of kernel, 60 to 70 ml oil can be extracted. In the case of pulp oil, only 5 to 10 percent oil can be extracted. Traditionally, the Bicolanos have been using pili oil for treating scalp and skin disorders. Pili planting is also becoming more commercial. One fellow who is planting more and more pili trees is Jose Amador of Brgy. Guinlajon, Sorsogon City. He used to have only five hectares of pili trees some eyars back. Now he has a 12-hectare pili plantation. Some are planted in between coconuts while some are planted as monocrop.