Fresh Juice, Syrup, Ethanol and Other Products from Sweet Sorghum

Yet another no-waste crop, sweet sorghum.

Engr. Tony and Doris Arcangel of Bapamin Enterprises, Batac, Ilocos Norte thru Mag-Agri Tayo shared the products they are producing out of sweet sorghum. They are the following:

Fresh juice. A sweet extract gathered after passing the harvested stalks via mechanical presser.  Fresh extract can be drink as is, concentrated or mixed to other juice of different type.

Ethyl alcohol – They are bottling them as sanitizer for personal and hospital use. They are also willing to venture into large scale ethanol production if there will be an investor support on part of planting additional sweet sorghum crops. Ethyl alcohol or ethanol is a by-product of yeast activity. Under anaerobic condition the yeast consume sugar resulting to release of carbon dioxide and alcohol. The initial product is distilled once to several times depending on required concentration and purity.

Sweet Sorghum Syrup – They are claiming it as healthy and comparable to supplementary vitamin.  Syrup is made by evaporating some moisture component thru heating. Depending on sugar content, it may be classified as light, medium and heavy.

Vinegar. A resulting product when the ethanol or wine is contaminated with acetic acid bacteria or intentionally added with. The ethyl alcohol produced by yeast activity is converted to acetic acid in presence of oxygen.

They are also selling sweet sorghum grains and seeds and on the track in making flour for gluten-free bread. Sorghum is a no-waste commodity. Bagasse  can befermented as high moisture fodder that can be fed to ruminants or used as biofuel feedstock for anaerobic digesters.

Their main products is are marketed under the brand name Healtika. Their product research, development and marketing continues thru the help of Mariano Marcos Statte University (MMSU), Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

source: mag-agri tayo via: da-bar and youtube

What I am taking to sooth sore throat and relieve coughing?

The sudden change from cold weather to hot made us caught common colds that eventually result to coughing. Symptoms persist for several days that it has been depriving me of long work hours and have been giving us almost sleepless nights.

I am taking plenty or rest and taking the following at specified intervals.

Vinegar. It is my first aid whenever I feel sore and painful throat. It is the natural medicine that is almost always available at any household.

Strepsils lozenges – I was really looking for the late Streptuss. Unluckily, its production was discontinued. The Strepsils, Dichlorobenzyl Alcohol Amylmetacresol, relieves sore throat and coughing but not as effective as the late Streptuss.

Eating raw ginger – Apparently the most effective. A bite immediately take away soreness and subsequent coughing. Effect wears about 15 minutes after the ginger runs out. I am biting it little by little for  a longer lasting effect.

peeled gingerMunching raw onions – It is as effective as ginger. It has disagreeable odor and taste. Jaw movement in rapid succession brings a sudden burst of hot uncomfortable mouth sensation.

onionsTaking in honey – Taking a spoonful only brings slight comfort for few minutes. Many other websites are claiming it effective however.

crystallized honeyHot calamansi juice – Not just calamansi, the hot tea and coffee works too. A relief while drinking.

Okra, Ladies Finger – The mucilage is claimed to cure sore throat. I tried it once with no effect felt.

Menthol+Eucalyptus+Camphor Vaporizing Rub. Dissolving some in hot water and inhaling. It readily remedy sore throat, tickling and hard coughing. How I wish I could sleep beside stove so I can smell it all night. I think it is an overdosed.

menthol eucalyptus camphorDrinking water. Taking a sip of water every five minutes. It brings comfort. However, going to comfort room every 15 minutes to pee is not comfortable.

A doctor’s prescribed antibiotic.

update as of June 29, 2012. Please see “What not to take when having dry cough| Doctor’s Advice“.

Gurgling Vinegar to Relieve Sore Throat

Weather condition these fast few days. The cold season seems ending. Sun’s ray is getting furious. I can barely stand few hours working under the sun. Staying in shade seems better. Daytime was hot but nighttime was cold. Thanks to gentle wind breeze.

Our house condition these fast few days. Dirty! Very dirty. Balustre on balcony and stairs were constructed – metal balustre made of GI pipe. The workers was roaming forth & back and up & down. Metal and welding rod dusts were everywhere. Exhibition of fireworks display for three days and the nasty sound of metal grinder.

My current condition. Still alive and kicking sir! However, I am experiencing headache, runny nose, sleepy eyes and sore throat. I have a colds, probably. I believe that changing weather and dusty environment are causing my illness.

Mom advised me to gurgle some vinegar. Thanks to her! I suddenly remembered that vinegar is good for relieving sore throat and I proved it to myself several times.

Measure a tablespoonful of vinegar. Get natural vinegar if possible. Take the vinegar and gurgle. Never swallow. Please bear with the intense sour taste. Take just a teaspoonful if a tablespoon is too much. Relief will come after few minutes. Repeat gurgling as necessary.

My former boss and her family are also using vinegar for sore throat relief. The curing effect has be used by Arengga Vinegar as one of their marketing strategy.

How about other colds symptoms? Hmmm… not sure. Go for the other effective alternative. Get plenty of sleep and drink a lot of water.

Trying to Make A Calamansi Wine !

Previously, my friend and I worked at our alma mater. Our project was making and market testing of dragon fruit wine. One of our problem was the souring of wine. We did all the sanitation practices to prevent the entry of contaminant acetic acid bacteria. The bacteria strain is responsible for turning of good wine to vinegar. We did all we can but many of the batches still ended up souring. Maybe our best effort was not enough.

Lately, he found a reading material that addition of citric acid to must is not recommended. It can trigger the acidification process – making the wine taste like vinegar.

I guessed that was the culprit. We are adding citric acid to adjust the mixture acidity before fermentation. Tartaric acid use is advised. The same also explains why I never see any wine made of citrus family. Do you see one?

Now, I am going to test the calamansi wine.The main acid component of calamansi is citric acid – souring is expected.

Fermentation takes three to four weeks. Update will be publish after this period.

calamansi fruits in glass


After over one and a half month, I got the two trials  and poured them carefully into two separate glasses. The trials tasted great. They taste like an expensive and high quality vinegar product. I tried to make wine and not vinegar!

wine in glasses

Different Ways To Eat Garlic

According to Reader’s Digest, garlic is one of the foods that has the potential in preventing cancer. Note: the term is “prevention” not cure. It can stimulate the body defenses against cancer and reduce tumor growth. The anti-cancer effect is attributed by sulfur compounds.

garlic head

Hate garlic? Here are some ways to eat it. Pick the one you are most comfortable with.

1) The most uncomfortable way is to eat it raw. Get a whole garlic head. Separate each clove. Remove the skins. Then eat it comfortably – just like eating potato chips. A glass of water will help push it way down to stomach.

2) Perhaps the above is not really comfortable. Plain raw garlic taste awful. In a jar, mix equal amount of vinegar and soy sauce. Add garlic cloves – all should be soaked. Store in  room temperature until the garlic became greenish. It taste better than plain raw and even better with rice. See how it looks like!

3) Add it to every dish. Minced garlic when mixed with any dish is often unnoticeable. It gives a good flavor. However, some people with a super sensitive sense of taste rejects any dish with garlic or excessive amount of garlic.

4) Fry it. Eating a piece of garlic from a vegetable recipe is an awful experience. But a fried garlic mixed with peanuts is different. It tastes good. Plain garlic chip is also good tasting.

5) The garlic bread and garlic flakes. The first time I had a taste of garlic bread, I liked it and never thought it was garlic flavored.

6) Look for other healthy foods. There are many healthy options that can help maintain healthy body and prevent cancer. No need to force yourself in eating something you never like.

Add Vinegar to Lower the Effect of High Glycemic Foods

Diet is health but the result could be the reverse sometimes. Avoiding chemical preservatives, too much carbs and fatty foods is indeed healthy. However, worrying too much about what is good and what is not can be stressful.The feeling of stress is not healthy and could be a precursor of many illnesses. It is like contradicting the effect of a healthy diet.

Eating your favorite street foods, junks and pork back fat once in a while to satisfy craving should be done. The guilt could be lessen by half by adding or dipping it with vinegar. Notice that most of the mentioned foods can be dipped in vinegar sauce. The fried pork, isaw, dugo, adidas, kwek kwek, corn crackers and chips. Even some fruits and vegetables can be eaten with vinegar like rare ripe papaya, babagan, Indian mango and cucumber. Recipes like paksiw, sinigang and sinaing requires the addition of vinegar or other natural acid agent.

vinegar in cup

Vinegar can lower the effect of high glycemic index foods by almost half. E.g. a particular meal with a GI value of 72 would be down to 36 when added with vinegar. This is in accordance with the study of Arizona State University.

Before grabbing the favorite vinegar mix and favorite high carb food, please be reminded that the study is about the carb intake. It did not tackle the other aspects such as LDL and preservatives. And eating too much of low carb foods will not save you from getting obese.