The Nice But Moldy Bamboo Stick Stirrer

Too bad, these nicely crafted bamboo sticks are moldy. If not, they are good for stirring cup of hot beverages like coffee, tea and chocolate. These sticks are really meant for stirring hot drinks, specially coffee. Far better the plastic version.

bamboo sticks stirrer

The popular counterpart is made of plastic, usually color red. Discarded after one use. Thin and small but regular use and dumping will add to plastic disposal problem in the long run. Usage of bamboo sticks is a nice idea. Bamboo is biodegradable.

The not so good side.

As you can see on picture. Bamboo sticks are covered with molds. Perhaps it has been stored in a high moisture cabinet. It absorbed sufficient amount of water and became conducive to fungal growth. Washing and or sterilizing might remove the molds away but will surely left undesirable flavors.

If it can absorb substances produced by molds, then it can also take in other nearby chemicals. If stored near hot pepper powder, then it might contribute a slightly pepper taste to next cup of tea.

Way back, we were using fallen mango tree branches for stirring cup of coffee. Dry and small branches were chosen. Scraped with sharp knife removing the powdery bark and other foreign matters. Used it for stirring boiled coffee and sugar. Then discard it after.


Effects of HWD, Hot Water Dip, on Postharvest Quality of Saba and Latundan Banana

The method used. Dipping bananas in hot water, 47-49°C for ten minutes. Then stored normal condition. Chilling experiment was also done, stored at 8-10°C for 8 to 10 days.

HWD was able to reduce finger rot and anthracnose infection. No drastic effect on fruit ripening under normal surrounding up to six days. Saba bananas turned ripe soft two to three days later than untreated. Bananas subjected to further chill treatment had less chilling injuries. The same results were observed on Latundan.

Based from the study results, hot water dipping is a must to prevent postharvest diseases such as finger rot and anthracnose, delay fruit ripening, reduce chilling injuries and to attain better fruit quality.

The article was according to bar digest, “Hot Water Dip Improves Banana and Mango Fruit Quality” by Rita T. dela Cruz. Please refer to “Extended Hot Water Dip” for mango fruit information. I think EHWD instruction is more detailed and comprehensive. The latter study never included bananas though.

The study was conducted by Dr. Antonio Acedo Jr., Marilou Benitez, and Dr. Ma. Cherry Abit or Leyte State University, LSU.

HWD and EHWD are cheaper alternatives of Vapor Heat Treatment, VHT.

The Three Days Apple Detox Diet

The idea is simple. Eat apples, eat apples and eat nothing but apples for three days. Eat whole apples, never remove the skins. Eat as much as you can toward the center where the seeds lie. Discard the seeds and the little stalk.

Perhaps I should eat these trimmings!

apple trimmings peel and busilThough seeds are claimed toxic – contain cyanide, just like the seeds of guyabano fruit, I have never felt anything unusual after every accidental ingestion.

Why nothing but apples?

Apples are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers and less in carbohydrates. Those helps in body detoxification – destroying bad substances or binding and taking it out.

It may or may not be a strict apple only diet. Depending on who recommends and or who is the doer, it may be mixed other fruits and vegetables but not meat, fish, dairies and processed foods.

Not sure if the restriction is applicable to irradiated apples. If yes, then we Filipinos cannot do apple detox. Perhaps most apples brought here are irradiated. Please correct me if I am  wrong!

After, it should be followed by a healthy balance diet. Else, it will not be effective. The detox may be repeated as desired but should never be continuous cause our body needs nutrients from variety of foods.

Why apples in three day detox?

Just a wild guess! Apple is chosen because it is very abundant. It is cheap and readily available. Yes, in countries where apple trees grow.

When I was in grade school, our teacher was always telling us to patronize our very own. Buy guava instead of apples. It is also rich in vitamins, minerals, fibers and less in carbohydrates.

Maybe a three days guava diet works too. Three days mango diet or three days rambutan diet.

Note: It is not a guaranteed cure for diseases of any kind.

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

Unsweetened Dried Mango Rolls

The common method for making dried mango: Selection of ripe and firm fruits. Slicing and cooking in syrup with metabisulfite or erythorbate. Then drying to drive away excess moisture.

Adding syrup has three purposes. Render the fruits sweeter and more acceptable. Fill the slices with sugar to avoid too much shrinking during drying process. And act as natural preservative.

Sodium erythorbate or sodium metabisulfite is added to prevent discoloration. The latter is discourage due to  allergic reaction to some hypersensitive persons.  The first is recommended and still safe as of date.

I already tried drying carrot slices under heat of sun. It resulted to thin curly and tough carrots with the original orange color. Drying ripe mango slices also yielded similar color retention. The texture was still soft due to original high sugar content. A bit chewable texture, sweet delectable mango taste and fragrant aroma. A better alternative to traditional dried mango.


1) Select firm ripe mangoes. Take time practicing this skill. Flavor and texture uniformity of final product largely depends on this. Take note of firmness, skin color and aroma.

isang pisngi ng manga

2) Make slices about 2 mm thick. Thicker slices take longer drying time and allow more room for spoilage and contamination. Drying two mango halves takes relatively long, probability of deterioration during drying is high.

3) Arrange slices in tray (aka plate) and dry under the sun from one to two days. Cover with fine net. Fragrant mango aroma will surely attract dirty flies.

mango slices in plate

natural dried mango strips

4) Roll the slices and pack.

unsweetened dried mango rolls

Keep the whole procedure as clean as much as possible. No heat treatment is involve in this process. Sun’s heat is not enough to render microorganisms harmless.

Maja Blanca With Carabao Mango

Another version of maja blanca recipe. This time using only cornstarch as gel agent. Using one part cornstarch for every four parts of other ingredients.

maja blanca with manga

Ingredients: These are the amount I gathered after a simple cross multiplication procedure.
3 cups coconut milk
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups cornstarch
1 cup evaporated milk
3 pcs bukyot carabao mango, ripe, cubes. bukyot means very small


1) Get one coconut. Get the coconut grater. Break the nut and grate it yourself. Shed some sweats and tears.

2) Add four cups of lukewarm water to grated coconut. Mash thoroughly with both hands. Strain through clean cheesecloth to get about three cups of coconut milk. Repeat the mashing and straining as necessary to complete the three cups requirements.

3) Place coconut milk in casserole. Add 1.5 cups sugar then heat gently while stirring. Let cool when all sugar are completely dissolved.

4) Add 1.5 cups cornstarch and one cup evaporated milk. Mix well. Cornstarch tends to form lumps making it hard to dissolved. Undissolved starch will cause unpleasant taste. Filter out the lumps and mash it in a small bowl. Add it back to prepared solution.

5) Taste the mixture and adjust according to taste preference – add milk, sugar or other flavorings. Measure all added ingredients. Add additional cornstarch if it exceeds one cup. Do cross multiplication for the necessary adjustment.

6) I added some mango slices. It never exceeded one cup so any cornstarch adjustment is not needed.

7) Place the mixture over low flame. Stir continuously until it becomes very sticky.  Then immediately pour on oil coated tray. Flatten the surface with a spoon. Let cool.

8) Slice to desired sizes using an oil coated knife. Serve.