DOST facilitates dev’t, commercialization of makapuno technologies

Published April 18, 2021, 11:15 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has facilitated the development, commercialization, and promotion of makapuno products and other innovative makapuno food and non-food products.

(Photo courtesy of DOST)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña noted that since 2009, the DOST-Calabarzon together with the Southern Tagalog Consortium for Industry and Energy Research and Development (STCIERD) has been collaborating to revitalize the makapuno industry in the region.

“Through the ceaseless efforts of STCIERD, DOST Calabarzon, and supporting agencies, makapuno gradually emerged as a high-value commodity considering its physico-chemical properties,” he said during his weekly report on Friday, April 16. 

“This collaboration has led to the enhancement of the Makapuno value-chain and roadmaps that signified promising opportunities not only in the food industry, but continually moving forward to the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and medicinal industry,” he said. 

He cited the  “Technology Commercialization of Makapuno Products (Galactomannan and Powder) as Intermediate Raw Materials” as product of such partnership aimed at developing and promoting makapuno and its products.

“Through research, it was discovered that Makapuno galactomannan offers a variety of uses as a thickener, binder, extender, gelling agent, emulsifier and stabilizer in various food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical products indicating a wide-ranging commercial application for Makapuno galactomannan,” de la Peña said. 

The DOST chief said they have developed innovative food products from makapuno powder like chewable and an optimized recipe for makapuno ice cream. The development of the new innovative food products was made possible in close partnership with the Philippine Coconut Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (PCRDF).

“For non-food products, PCRDF has utilized galactomannan for its moisturizing and exfoliating ability to create makapuno lotion, soap, and other cosmetic products,” de la Peña said. 

He disclosed that application for intellectual property on makapuno technologies “is ongoing.”

In 2017, the QTR Pharma Sciences Inc., led by its president, Dr. Ma. Teresa Vergara, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to adopt and invest on the development of a makapuno-galactomannan hand cream in 2017, with the DOST-Calabarzon and the PCRDF.

During his report, de la Peña announced the DOST- Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI)  also developed makapuno flakes, another innovative food product using the drum drying technology.

“The Makapuno products mentioned prove that it is a valuable agricultural commodity with a huge potential waiting to be further discovered,” he said. 

He said to ensure the  sustainable supply of quality makapuno despite the makapuno nut being a rare commodity, DOST-Calabarzon partnered with PCRDF and Cavite State University (CvSU).

“The use of Embryo-Culture Technology in mass propagating makapuno with PCRDF was strengthened. At the same time, design and development of enhanced tissue culture growth cabinet for mass propagation of embryo-cultured makapuno was crafted with CvSU,” the DOST chief said. 

“Lastly, to help in the commercialization of pure and quality Makapuno products, a Philippine Makapuno Seal of quality was launched in partnership with STCIERD. Now, consumers can be guaranteed of quality and pure makapuno in their desired product once they see the seal in the brand packaging.”