The Extended Hot Water Dipping for Mangoes, EHWD

I heard about dipping mangoes in hot water bath when I was in college. They are saying it’s a quality control measure. the other details are vague.

Time to clear the vagueness by mean of two sources. Hot Water Dipping is done for two reasons.

From Done to mango and pawpaw to prevent latent Anthracnose development. There are two methods of implementation.

a) Fruits are dip in hot water, 55ºC,  for five minutes. Placing in cold storage immediately is refrained to prevented fruit injury.

b) Fruits are dip in hot water, 55ºC, with 0.1% Benomyl(Benlate)  for 1 to 3 minutes.

The two processes are done with strict monitoring. Slight deviation from specified time and temperature might be detrimental.

From In years 2002 and 2006, mangoes exported to China were intercepted due to insect larvae. Because of two separate incident, all mangoes exported to China are required to undergo expensive vapor heat treatment.

The second reason is to eradicate all insects.

Researchers from PHTRC-UPLB, Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research and Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, PNRI, developed the EHWD as much cheaper alternative.

EHWD – extended hot water dipping entails dipping mangoes in hot water, 47 to 48ºC, until the pulp temperature reaches 46ºC, maintained for 15 minutes, then 10 minutes air cooling and 30 minutes tap water cooling. Fruits are then air dried before  packing. It is applied 48 hours after harvest on mature fruits to prevent internal breakdown. It has no effect on ripening, quality and sensory properties.

Other important requirements of EHWD
1) Mature mangoes, immature tend to undergo internal breakdown.
2) Insect proof treatment facility
3) Accurate timers and heat sensors
4) Carton with netted vent holes to prevent re-infestation.
5) BPI quarantine officer to monitor the procedure.

ripe carabao mango 3

How Rice is Wasted?

According to Department of Agriculture – Agriculture and Fisheries Information Service (DA-AFIS), every Filipino is wasting two tablespoons rice. The whole wastage is equivalent to 1.7 million kilograms which is enough to feed 2.7 million people.

How rice is wasted? The following except for the last were solely based on my assumptions.

Natural Calamities. Tons of rice are washed away during floods brought by strong rains and typhoons. Rice intended for the masses are drenched by water. No people on earth is powerful enough to go against it.

Harvesting and processing. Grains fall to ground during harvesting, threshing, drying and polishing. I never know the extent but what I said is not far from reality. There might be more waste than I could imagine.

Storage, transport and selling. Rice sacks are piece of woven plastics. Easily torn apart when pierced by finger or by any hard object. Can be intentional or accidental. That’s why rice grains on floor of warehouse, transport vehicle and rice store is a common sight.

Home. Accidental waste due to container breakage and during washing. Rice grains are small. Picking them all by hand requires a lot of time and patience. Sweeping them will include lots of dirt. Others… burnt/charred rice, tutong can be depending on one’s appetite, plate leftovers and spoiled rice/panis na kanin.

Over eating. Yes! eating more than what you need is considered as wasting. Eating four servings a meal and doing nothing but watching television will surely make you fat. Big belly and bloated muscles make the movement harder and going to give diseases eventually. Too much rice eaten gone to waste.

NFA warehouses. According to television reports, there were cases which the National Food Authority itself was involve is rice wastage. Several kilos to tons of imported rice were left infested by weevils. The management stated the it could still be saved by chemical treatment.

Onion Storage Facilities In Nueva Ecija, Mindoro, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur

My father and mother are farmers. They plant patola and ampalaya yearly. Plentiful harvest is always a wish. Perhaps it is the wish of everyone. However, a moderate amount of harvest is often ideal.


Fifty pieces of patola during the first harvest cost ten peso each. A 500 pesos total. Then a 100 pieces of patola the next harvest also cost 500 pesos. The price has dropped from ten pesos to only five pesos. Bulk buyers are well aware that there is a huge production so they are lowering their buying price. The farmers cannot do anything cause their produce will spoil if not sold immediately = losses.

The same is true with other perishable commodities such as lettuce, pechay, onions etc… farmers are facing storage problems. Farmers are forced to sell their product at lower prices.

This problem is known to DA-Pilmech or Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization. The agency will build cold storage facilities for onions in Nueva Ecija, Mindoro, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. Each facility can hold 2,000 to 3,000 sack of onions. The major cash crop of the mentioned areas is onion.

The project is expected to give farmers more income and save around 20 to 25% post harvest losses.

I also read from Department of Agriculture website that they confiscated some smuggled onions. Those onions are being sold in the market at lower prices. How other countries are able to sell their goods at lower prices? Smuggling is killing our own industry and grabbing considerable amount of income from farmers. I hope this storage facilities will really reduce harvest losses and make our very own more competitive.

mouldy onion

Research Paper – Harvesting Process For Kaong/ Irok

I was surfing the web when I accidentally saw this article. I am happy cause my name is written on research paper. We did the research when I was still working at Cavite State University. Thanks to PCARRD-DOST for publishing the research results. You can read the article below or go to PCARRD website.


Best Harvesting Process For Sugar Palm Identified

Indang, Cavite — Researchers from Cavite State University (CvSU) identified the frequency of slicing the stalk and time of harvest as control points in harvesting sugar palm (Arenga pinnata Wurmb). research paper logo

Fe Dimero, Marvin Vicedo, and Mark Mojica of CvSU conducted a study to find out the best harvesting process for sugar palm. The researchers recommend that twice a day slicing of the inflorescence trunk during collection must be practiced to maintain high volume of harvested sap.

Slicing the stalk twice a day significantly increased the volume of harvested sap compared with slicing only once a day and no tapping. The physico-chemical as well as the sensory properties of the sugar palm sap was not affected.

During collection, the researchers used three types of containers—open containers hung on the stalk, covered containers, and bamboo pipes. They found out that the collection vessel has no significant effect on the sap collected. Results indicated that incidence of contamination during harvest was very low. This means that the collection vessel is not considered as a control point.

The sap collected during the night was more acidic and had more soluble solids than the sap from the day collection. Thus, time of sap collection was considered a control point in harvesting sugar palm sap.

Based on the properties of the sugar palm sap, sap collected during the night is best for vinegar production while those collected during the day can be best used for juice, syrup, and sugar production.

Sugar palm is the source of a sweet sap, locally known as “tuba.” The sap is taken from the cut stalk of the male inflorescence by a process called tapping. This process involves slightly beating the inflorescence stalk followed by a series of stalk slicing for continuous flow of sap. Day and night collection of sap is done to ensure continuous collection.

This information was presented during the Research and Development (R&D) Symposium of the Southern Tagalog Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (STARRDEC) in Region IV held in Calapan City, Mindoro. STARRDEC is the consortium of R&D agencies in Region IV organized by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD). (Leila C. America, S&T Media Service)

Pineapple Induced With Calcium Carbide Is Sweeter and More Fibrous

Ethephon is a chemical sprayed to pineapples to induce / force reproductive development. Spraying it on green pineapples hasten their ripening time. A batch will ripen almost at the same time, perfect for competitive market demands.

Ethephon converts to ethylene after metabolism. Ethylene is a growth and ripening agent naturally produced by plants. It can be added externally to produced a more desirable effect.

Another way of pineapple induction is the use of calcium carbide (kalburo in tagalog). It is popular here in Philippines as ripening agent for mango and banana. The Central Region of Ghana is widely using it for induction of pineapples.

Calcium carbide reacts with moisture forming acetylene gas – this has the same effect as ethylene.

Residents were questioning the effects of calcium carbide on quality and shelf life of pineapples so a study was conducted. Here are the results:

1) Sensory analysis showed 88.9% consumer preference for chemically induced fruits. It is recommended to induce fruits for better saleability.

2) Chemically induced fruits have lower moisture content (84.3%) than the non-induced fruits (86.8%).

3) Total sugars, sucrose and reducing sugars were all higher in induced fruits than the non-induced fruits.Sweeter fruits are really proffered by buyers.

4) Chemical induced fruits have shorter shelf-life than non-induced fruits. Fruits treated with calcium carbide should be sold quicker. Long transport have the risk of fruit spoilage.

5) Fiber content is higher in induced pineapples. The enhanced natural ethylene production due to calcium carbide application is responsible for this result.

6) Induced fruits are more acidic but still fall within the range of 3.2-4.0 as specified by Morton (1987).

7) Induced fruits has more calcium content. Pineapples are able to absorbed the calcium component of fruit inducer.

rare ripe pineapple

Thanks to: Asare-Bediako, E., F.A. Showemimo, J.N. Buah and A.O. Ntow-Manu, 2007. Quality of pineapple fruits as influenced by floral
induction in Ghana. Am. J. Food Technol., 2: 100-103.
DOI: 10.3923/ajft.2007.100.103

How To Ferment Cocoa / Cacao Beans

Buying cocoa beans in our place is often frustrating. I often found good beans. Encounter bad and almost unusable from time to time. But finding beans with sour smell is very rare. I prefer sour smelling beans.

cacao beans on sack

Here are the common post harvest practices for cacao in our place:

1) Cacao pod maturity is determined by tapping it with finger. Matured cacao ready for harvest has a hallow sound. This is true because a space is created between seeds and the pod as it ripens.

2) Pod is broken carefully with a sharp bolo. Then the beans are sucked by mouth (sinusupsop in Tagalog term) without ingestion to aid the removal of adhering pulp. Then washed in several changes or water. Sand is often mixed to hasten the process.  Alternatively, beans can be washed with water right away.

3) Beans are dried under the sun and stored.

Please read again method number 2. There is nothing wrong with it but there is a better process. Cocoa beans should be fermented before drying. Fermentation process allows the development of chocolate flavors. Unfermented  cocoa beans are of inferior quality.

How to ferment cocoa beans. I often tell this process to cacao farmers.

1) Harvest matured cacao pods. See above for maturity assessment.

2) Break the pod carefully to avoid breaking of beans. Place the beans in  tumbler and cover with banana leaves.

3) Allow to stand for seven days. Natural fermentation will occur.

4) Wash fermented beans in water. Fermentation facilitates the removal of adhering pulp. Mixing sand is not necessary.

5) Dry under the sun.

update as of March 2018,

Washing beans after fermentation is not recommended. Send it immediately for drying instead.

Search for more latest article for updated method.