Nata de Coco – Drying and Reconstitution?

The drying and reconstitution experiment on kaong meat went well. I successfully dried few kaong meats to a hard rock like thing. All came back to normal after soaking in tap water overnight.

The trick might also work on nata de coco cubes. I secured few pieces and dried them for one and one half day. Pieces became flat like a transparent sheet of paper. Then I soaked them in heavy syrup in hope that it can reabsorb water together with sugar particles. A sweet nata de coco after…

nata de coco cubes dried nata de coco flattened nata de coco in syrupto be continued….

Update as of April 26, 2013: The nata de coco can be dried successfully but bringing it back to its original form is not possible.  No increase in size observed after 24 hours of soaking in heavy syrup. I drained the syrup and replaced it with plain water. No increase in size either after another 24 hours.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Mangosteen Powder – Shredding Before Drying?

I observed that drying before grinding was not a good option for making a mangosteen powder. There was no problem during the drying process but the problem rose when grinding commenced. The soft wet mangosteen rind turned to hard wood structure after few days of sun drying. Manual grinding was near to impossible. Motor operated grinding is feasible but it needs heavy duty metal burs, components and a high horsepower motor. Definitely not suitable for home-based processing.

fresh cut mangosteen rindThe easier method in my mind was the grinding before drying. However, grinding might pressed out considerable amount of juice together with precious xanthones. Thanks to stainless steel shredder! I managed shredding several fresh mangosteen rind with ease (without any expelled juice), just like shredding cassava for cassava cake making.

shredded mangosteen rind

update as of March 2018:

I recommend chopping or slicing to manageable sizes  and sun drying. Nearly powdering it is an option but filtering them out after boiling and before serving will be hassle.

Rind should be dried before storage. Keeping it wet inside refrigerator won’t prevent mold growth.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Drying and Reconstituting Kaong Meat, Sugar Palm

Due to my curiosity, I set few kaong meat under the sun for drying. Those pieces were tougher than usual. I could not cut them easily with scissors. I set them aside because they were not chewable enough for enjoyment. The original plan was to dump them in garbage can.

fresh over mature kaong meatkaong meat browingI already mentioned that the meats  turned transparent brown after two days of drying. The sized reduced to almost half. It became hard that it could not be cut in between teeth.

What was next?

I guess the simple experiment is not for nothing. I dropped the rock hard kaong inside a plastic bottle. Added some water and let it stood for 24 hours.

Then.

The dried kaong reabsorbed moisture and regained their original shape. It became less tough. In fact, I enjoyed chewing them one by one. The only drawback is it was a bit darker than before.

reconstituted kaong meat in water reconstituted kaong meatImportance?

The trial was so simple but seems promising. If it can be carried out in larger scale: (1) It may ensure a significantly longer storage life.(2) Lighter transportation weight and volume. (3) May omit the need for extensive syrup preservation or the need for regular water changes for none preserved harvest. and (4) Lower product cost if items two and three are met.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Mangosteen Pericarp, From Sun Drying To…

It is obvious that I cannot possibly consume the rest of 12 mangosteen rind halves in a day or within a week.  The good thing I have in mind is dry them so it can be stored in shelf conditions.

mangosteen rind quartersSunshine is free. It is always there for the taking. It is up to us how we can make good use of it. Drying this mangosteen rind under the heat of yellow sun is my own little way of harnessing sun’s energy.

I patiently cut all the rind to small slices. This allows more surface area for moisture evaporation and thus faster drying.

mangosteen pericarp slicesmangosteen rind slices under the sunto be continued…..

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Disadvantages of Sun Drying

Sun is a cheap source of energy. Energy needed for food processing purposes. Some intuitive individuals are able to cook rice and other dishes using sunlight. Rays are reflected, using special device, and directed to the cooking vessel.  The popular food processing use of sun is the sun drying. Commodities such as fruits, meat and fish are sliced, arranged on trays and placed under the sun until sufficiently dried. It is the simplest and the cheapest among drying methods but is also most the disadvantageous.

1) The sun itself is a major disadvantage. The drying can only be done effectively from 9 am to 4 pm. The rest of time is idle. It should be done in open field. Trees, buildings and other structures may block sunlight and hinder the drying process. Cloud formation will also deny sunlight. Rainy and stormy days will completely deny drying.

the sun is barely shining

2) Exposure to dirts, microbes and animals. Unless the commodity is placed inside a shielded equipment,glass or thick plastic, getting dirt and microbes from surrounding environment is likely. Some never want an enclosure cause it add to investment cost and hinder the airflow and makes the drying slower. Animals like dogs, cats and rodents have an easy access to the commodity. They are always ready to get some of your precious fish.

3) The idle time in between drying sessions allow the growth of unwanted microorganisms.

4) In case of open sun drying, sudden rains and strong winds might completely ruin the whole batch.

5) Unrepeatable results. Some parameters could not be set, like dry 50 kilograms of fish for five days. The parameter might be attainable but often not. The reason – read disadvantages above.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Quality of Fruits Suitable for Dried Candy Strips

mango pulp yellow

Pineapple, mango, banana, papaya, guyabano and jackfruit can be dried to strip-like candy as long as the optimal ripeness of fruit are taken into consideration.

The mango halves below are not suitable for drying, the fruits are soft and may contain more than 50% water. The resulting dried product would be very thin, light and crippled.

As the fruit ripens, it becomes softer and more palatable. The rare ripe fruit is optimal for drying because it is soft but still firm and the flavor is starting to develop. However, immature fruits can be successfully dehydrated to a delectable dried fruit candy. Ingredient adjustment and process would to the trick.

mango pulp yellow

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.