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Philipinnes: Food products from ‘marang’ developed

Marang can be easily mistaken for a jackfruit or a breadfruit. But unlike the two, marang is smaller and softer than jackfruit and a little bigger in size than breadfruit.  Marang is native to the Philippines and can thrive well in the marginal and hilly areas of Mindanao.

There are two varieties of marang that are locally available and are commercially sold in the market: brown and evergreen. The brown variety has light to dark-brown peel with white to off-white pulp. The average fruit size weighs 1,250 grams to 1,700 grams and has percent to 10 percent edible portion. Meanwhile, the evergreen variety has green to light-green peel and white pulp. It is heavier (1,300 grams to 1,800 grams), has more edible portion (10 percent to 15 percent), and is sweeter than the brown variety.

This fruit is seasonal. It is only available from May to September. After harvest, a mature fruit becomes highly perishable, lasting for two to three days only. Once opened, a ripe marang must be consumed immediately because it can easily lose its flavor and it oxidizes, causing the pulp to brown. It was due to the seasonality and perishability of marang that this fruit is undervalued and underutilized. Given its high demand, its short shelf life hinders its market potential.

To address this, a group of researchers from the University of Southern Mindanao Agricultural Research Center (USMARC) led by Dr. Emma K. Sales implemented the project titled “Pilot Testing of Post-harvest Technologies and Product Diversification of Marang.” This research initiative, funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and the High Value Commercial Development Program (HVCDP) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), looked into the possibility of making processed products from marang and making them readily available even during off-season. The result of this project is also seen to encourage growers, farmers, enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs to explore and venture into marang processing.

The group of Dr. Sales was able to develop at least 11 products from marang, nine from the pulp and two from its seeds.

Source: businessmirror.com.ph

Publication date: 9/25/2012


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