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Malunggay pandesal, anyone?

Imagine your ordinary pandesal, or your favorite snacks such as pulboron, kamote muffins, fetucchini noodles fortified with vitamins and nutrients of malunggay. You want to know how?

These delicious and nutritious snacks, as well as other malunggay by-products will be featured during a three-day exhibit as the Department of Agriculture (DA) showcases the best of the best agri by-products at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The exhibit which will run from October 4 to 6 to celebrate the 14th International Agri-business Exhibition and Seminars and the 8th International Food Processing and Packaging Products Exhibition sponsored by AgriLink, AquaLink and FoodLink in coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Other malunggay by-products, such as body lotion with essential oil of moringa (seed of malunggay), hair cream, massage cream, water purifier and all-purpose oil extracted from moringa through biotechnology, will also be featured.

Director Alicia Ilaga, head of the DA Biotechnology Program Office, one of the participants of the exhibit said participants will be given free treats such as free massage, or demonstration of these new amazing malunggay products.

Too add up spice to the event, a cooking contest dubbed “O! May Gulay” was hosted by the DA to encourage households in the urban areas to cook affordable and nutritious food using local agricultural products.  The activity is designed to develop vegetable recipes that are easy to prepare, affordable, and delicious.

The contest is open to all public high schools from the National Capital Region (NCR) represented by two students from participating schools n Metro Manila.

Cash prizes and trophies await the winners of the contest.

The DA through the BPO headed by Ilaga has launched a massive information, education and communication campaign to promote the lowly malunggay, because of its agri-business potential.

Unknown to many, malunggay is not only a nutritious and delicious vegetable.  It is seed is rich in oil expert said can converted into edible oil and biofuel.

Ilaga said the lowly malunggay, considered as the “poor man’s veggie” is making a golden comeback and promises to be the “next best thing” that can happen to Philippine agriculture through biotechnology.

After strategically positioning itself in the production of planting materials such as moringa seed and stem cuttings, the DA is now ready for the massive cultivation of malunggay as part of its campaign to promote farming for natural ingredients.

Some of the value-added products of moringa oil makes used of biotechnology, such as by processing enzyme to produce pure oil, and produce active pharmaceutical ingredients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and quercitin.  Another biotech application is the ion exchange or chromatography to produce active compound for water treatment.

 

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