A topic of Round Table Discussion organized by National Academy of Science and Technology. More jobs and income, if we focus on oleochemicals production down to its value chain. Don’t be contented with extraction of main oil, also engaging to consumer products are good ventures.
There has been an increasing interest toward oleochemicals because of the increasing cost of petrochemicals and its products. Cocochemicals are of the highest value. Maybe processed as biodiesel, additives, lubricants, grease and solvents.
It was clear that the recently concluded RTD main topic was the coconut industry. Philippines is among the best place for growing coconut and indeed have plenty of. Planting more coconuts, building more intended manufacturing plants and more R&Ds are good options. The buzz regarding virgin coconut oil was an excellent opportunity but it seemed we failed getting the advantage.
Not only coconut. There are other oleochemical sources of commercial importance.
Lard. Oil from pig. It has many culinary uses in which some call for it specifically. However too many health issues are related to pig meat back-fat and oil consumption.
Palm Oil. Our country has tropical climate which make it suitable for palm oil production. We currently have 54,448 hectares of land planted with oil palm. It is popular as palm cooking oil and has other uses for drug, cosmetic and agro-chemical sector.
Jathropa. A potential source of biofuel. However, authorities is still in search of a variety with a substantial oil yield. Jathropa plant has toxic property, thus, not suitable for food purposes.
Manila Elemi Oil. The very expensive oil from bark of Pili Nut. The crude unprocessed latex is sold for 70 to 80 pesos per kilogram. Imagine the cost of purified oil and beauty products made with it. Not to mention Philippines is its only exporter.
Corn. Yet another good source of oil. A friend of mine switched from using palm oil to coconut oil cause the latter gives better flavor properties. No oil shall be extracted from Filipino foods so this won’t be a big industry.