Locally developed fruit wine barrels, 3 times cheaper than oak barrels – DOST-FPRDI

There is good news to makers of tropical fruit wines in the Philippines!Quality yet affordable wine barrels for aging fruit raw materials may soon be available in the market, giving the local fruit wine industry the needed boost to improve product quality at less cost.

The Department of Science and Technology’s Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) is currently pilot-testing wine barrels made from three local tree plantation species (TPS), namely:  big-leafed mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), mangium (Acacia mangium), and river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and two fruit trees, namely: santol (Sandoricum koijape) and Indian mango (Mangifera indica).

The wine barrels were developed by DOST-FPRDI’s researchers to find cheaper substitutes for white oak (Quercus alba) which is known worldwide as the best traditional material for fermenting and aging wine.

“Most local fruit wine makers use plastic and glass containers to ferment and age their wines,” explains Project Leader Engr. Caezar Cuaresma. “So, we are happy that with our wine barrel technology (WBT), they can have access to a quality but affordable option. It’s almost like they’re using imported barrels but at a lesser cost – about three times cheaper.”
According to Cuaresma, their partner-fabricator, Angeles Woodworks Co. based in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, has already made sample barrels which are an enhanced version of the original.

“Several large distilleries and wineries have already signified their interest in our technology,” he added. “To meet their needs, we are planning to do further studies for upscaling the barrels’ capacities.”

The DOST-FPRDI barrels have been certified safe by the WBT team as the wine aged in them had no adverse effects on test rats. Likewise, the wine has been rated “moderately acceptable” by expert tasters who assessed it for color, bitterness, sweetness, clarity, flavor, aftertaste and general acceptability.

According to Cuaresma, the WBT does not in any way contribute to deforestation as it makes use only of wood from tree plantation species and old, unproductive fruit trees.
The pilot-testing is being funded by the DOST’s Technology Innovation for Commercialization (TECHNICOM) program and will run until December 2020. (Rizalina K. Araral, DOST-FPRDI, 09 September 2020)

The DOST-FPRDI fruit wine barrels make use of wood from tree plantation species and old, unproductive fruit trees.


Local veggies may prevent heart disease, cancer, even aging Not all vegetables consumed are equal.

Vegetables commonly eaten in the Philippines vary widely in terms of phenolic content and antioxidant capacities. This simply means that the nutritional or health value of vegetables, when subjected to chemical reaction or process, can either increase, decrease, or remain the same.

Elderlies are correct in saying not to over-cook the veggies because boiling can significantly affect the phenolic content and antioxidant capacities of up to 92% and 88%, respectively. In effect suggesting that vegetables, particularly the green leafy ones, must be subjected to minimal heating to prevent the loss of antioxidants. This is based on the study of a team of researchers from the Philippine Rice Research Institute.

The research team evaluated the total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant capacity of 47 locally cultivated vegetables, both in raw form and in a state that they are usually consumed. These vegetables are sourced from the provinces of Benguet, Bulacan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, and Mountain Province in Northern and Central Luzon.

Phenolic compounds are water-soluble antioxidants from plants that are important because of their potential to prevent and treat cancer. But other than cancer, antioxidants could also have potential use in the treatment and prevention of atherosclerosis, heart failure, neurodegenerative disorders, aging, diabetes mellitus, and other diseases.

The researchers wanted to estimate the phytochemical content and antioxidant capacities of the vegetables in the form that they are typically eaten, to provide insights as to how these plant foods can be used as source of phytochemicals that can promote good health.

Based on the study of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-FNRI), Filipinos consume one-half cup (114 g) of boiled vegetables per day or for the three major meals in a day, while adolescents in public schools in Metro Manila consume even less (81 g.) Actually, these consumption patterns fall below DOST-FNRI’s Pinggang Pinoy, a local food guide’s recommended intake of three-fourths to one cup of raw or cooked vegetables per meal.

“National data shows that ours is a country where chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancers have continued to afflict many people, and prevention through the consumption of low-cost health foods such as vegetables needs to be promoted as this is a better and more sustainable approach than expensive medical treatment,” Rosaly V. Manaois, who leads the research team, said.

Results of the study by the researchers show that when consumed raw, the following vegetables have the highest TPC among the samples tested: turmeric (luyang dilaw), red coral lettuce, sweet potato tops (talbos ng kamote), chili leaves (talbos ng sili), jute (saluyot), lowland water spinach (kangkong), green eggplant (talong na bilog), and purple eggplant (talong na haba). These samples also had the highest antioxidant capacities among the 47 vegetables tested.

On the other hand, boiling is one of the most common cooking methods in the Philippines. Phenolics are known to be destroyed upon boiling due to their thermal instability. However, several samples still exhibited the highest TPC among the samples tested after boiling. These are turmeric, chili leaves, lowland water spinach, and purple eggplant. They also remained powerful antioxidants after boiling. Furthermore, turmeric contains the phenolic compound curcumin, which has been extensively studied and reported to exhibit high antioxidant capacity and various other biological functions and medicinal effects.

The study which focused on water-soluble antioxidants only also recommends evaluation of fat-soluble antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and lycopene, in vegetables. The other members of the research team aside from Manaois are John Edward I. Zapater, and Amelia V. Morales from the Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division of Philippine Rice Research Institute.

A complete version of this study will soon be published and accessed online in the Philippine Journal of Science, the oldest science journal in the country, published by the DOST- Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII). (S&T Media Service, Geraldine Bulaon-Ducusin)


Kape Roger of Bukidnon acquires FDA license to operate
MALAYBALAY CITY – JRED Food Processing, a coffee processor based in Malitbog, Bukidnon, was awarded a License to Operate (LTO) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) early this 2020.  

Famous for its Kape Roger or Señor Rogelio brand of coffee, the company is a longtime proponent of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP aimed at assisting micro, small, and medium enterprises to level up.

DOST-X has been assisting JRED Food Processing since early 2018. The agency linked them to a series of free training and seminars that include Good Manufacturing Practices and Food Safety. Since the approval of their SETUP proposal, the firm’s proprietors, Mr. and Mrs. Saguinhon, have been accommodating experts in the field to help improve their enterprise. 

Incidentally, Kape Roger also acquired consultants paid by DOST to assist them in their documentary and physical requirements to avail of the FDA’s License to Operate. Their manuals and their actual plant layout are one of the most critical requirements of the FDA that have been provided for free to them through SETUP.

Other than free training and one-on-one consultancy, Kape Roger was also able to upgrade its facility with higher specifications and brand-new equipment through SETUP. Some of the modern equipment they acquired are the coffee pulper, grinder, continuous band sealer, and the roasting machine.

With the acquisition of the LTO, the firm aims to expand its current market to include supermarkets throughout Northern Mindanao, plus the establishment of coffee shops in Cagayan de Oro City and Malaybalay City.

Kape Roger recently acquired their Intellectual Property Rights (IPO) on its official brand, Señor Rogelio. The recently granted IPO allows them to enjoy exclusive rights on their brand, which they have worked so hard to establish.

The Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP is a flagship program of the DOST that enables MSMEs to address their technical problems and improve productivity and efficiency through the infusion of appropriate technologies that will improve products, services, and operations; human resource training; technical assistance and consultancy services; and design of functional packages and labels.

For interested MSMEs who want to avail of SETUP, the agency requires a Letter of Intent or any inquiry via email at bukidnon@region10.dost.gov.ph or Facebook chat to DOST Bukidnon FB Page. For more information, please contact Ms. Julie Anne H. Baculio, Science Research Specialist I (stpromotions@region10.dost.gov.ph, 0917-709-3706) (Nova Belle Calotes, DOST-Bukidnon)