DOST APPLIES VALUE-ADDED TECH TO BOOST COOP’S TILAPIA PRODUCTS
AGONCILLO, Batangas – Tilapia harvests in this lakeshore town have been given a boost with the value-added fish processing technology and good manufacturing practices introduced by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 4-A (Calabarzon) through the Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) - Batangas and Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI).
John Maico Hernandez, information officer and science research specialist of DOST-PSTC Batangas disclosed on Wednesday that the new value-added fish processing technology devised by the department’s ITDI shows growers how to process dried and marinated tilapia products.
“The technology aims to improve existing fish processing and combined training on the integrated current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), which are now benefiting the Bilibinwang Multipurpose Cooperative members here,” Hernandez said.
PSTC-Batangas gathered coop members last February 20-22, to impart to them new food processing technologies that virtually guarantee better income because they can start selling processed tilapia products, with their extended shelf-life, rather than just fresh fish.
“The cooperative has been engaged in agricultural services, mini grocery and loan services on its initial operation and has ventured into tilapia fish processing besides the huge harvest of the aquatic resources in their locality,” Hernandez added.
He said DOST 4-A, through its grants-in-aid program, provided the mechanical dryer to be used by the multi-purpose coop.
The cooperative is also expected to go into full production with their "upgraded" processed tilapia products using the newly-established fish processing facility provided by DOST, with the support of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Among the coop's new tilapia-based products, which are expected to be a best-seller, is the “lamayo” or the semi-dried tilapia, which will benefit greatly from the new equipment.
Hernandez also explained that the training program covers critical points in fish processing, such as cleaning and de-scaling, removal of guts and gills, splitting, washing, and sorting, which could now be done more efficiently using new technology.
He said DOST-ITDI trainers also shared three styles of processing tilapia -- salted, acidified (marinated), and tocino-styled. (PNA)