STORIES

Mango Cooperators, PHilMech ink MOA for Mango Pectin Technology

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between PHilMech and two mango cooperators as part the agency’s mission to help farmers mitigate the effects of the pandemic through its COVID-19 response project.

The project entitled “Mango Pectin Edible Coating to Extend the Shelf-life of Fresh Mango”, led by Dr. Ma. Cristina Gragasin of the Bio-Processing Enterprise Division, aims to extend the shelf-life of fresh mangoes up to 12 to 24 days under ambient and chilled storage conditions; prevent the rapid ripening of fruits; and prevent the development of disease in mangoes.

Two cooperators – the Pangasinan Tropical Fruits Multi-Purpose Cooperative from Manaoag, Pangasinan and the Association of Mango Industry in La Union, Inc. (AMILU) from Bauang, La Union, were selected to take part in this project.

During the activity, Gragasin demonstrated to the cooperators how the technology worked. The activity also allowed Gragasin to demonstrate the application of the mango pectin-based edible coating to fresh mangoes.

“We are happy to turn-over the equipment to your cooperative so that we could use this for our experiment, and eventually, once we have proven that the technology is working at your operation, you can use this until you break it,” Gragasin lightheartedly said during the ceremony in Bauang, La Union.

Both cooperators were excited by the potential of this technology.

“With the help of this technology, postharvest losses will now be reduced and our net income will increase,” Lito Arenas, adviser of Pangasinan Tropical Fruits Multi-Purpose Cooperative said.

“With an estimate of 30% loss from our mango produce during its transit, we (mango growers) are really hoping that this technology might address the problem” Pedro Corpuz, president of AMILU said.

Apart from the MOA signing, PHilMech also conducted a turnover of technologies during this event. Included in the turnover were provisions of wash bins, treatment bins, drainer, drying rack and drying plates.

With the project, farmers hope to earn more from their produce with the delayed ripening stage. Farmers can also hope to reduce their postharvest loss as less produce would be considered “rejects” with the help of this technology.

This project is one of nine projects under the agency’s COVID-19 response project.

The MOA signing and turn-over ceremony were virtually shown during the agency’s Industry Day in celebration of its 43rd anniversary.
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