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The versatile Filipino fruit called calamansi

Many Filipinos call it calamansi, others call it calamondin, others call it suter. This is citrofortunella microcarpa, a round greenish to yellow in color, 2 cm to 4.5 cm fruit which is normally found in the kitchen of Filipino homes since it does wonders of wonders as a sour flavoring to a variety of dishes from the sautéed rice noodles called bihon to pancit palabok; from the arroz caldo to beefsteak Filipino style.

Calamansi is the secret ingredient to many mouthwatering Filipino delicacies. This writer remembers that the juice of the calamansi leaves are extracted and added to the leche plan to give it an exotic taste. How would the famous Leyte kinilaw taste without the secret ingredient called calamansi? What would dieters do without the calamansi to make the grapelike seeweeds called lato? And what is more refreshing than a glass of calamansi juice or iced tea laced with calamansi on a weather unusually unbearable because of global warming?

The versatile calamansi is even use for personal hygiene as a deodorant and a whitening agent. Others use it as detergents, removing the grease from the hands, and as a cleansing scrub to pans and dirty or stained clothes. This writer even remembers that calamansi leaves are crumbled and are used by people to recover from dizzy spells.

But how many calamansi growers have thought that calamansi can be processed into commercial food products such as ready-to-drink juice, juice concentrate, jelly, and jam, and marmalade to name a few? Indeed, there are many calamansi-based products which are potential sources of sustainable livelihood.

The Department of Science and Technology Industrial Technology Development Institute has developed business concepts involving calamansi processing technologies particularly on Calamansi Concentrate, Calamansi Juice Drink, and Calamansi Jelly.


Publication date: 7/18/2007


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