The like of pineapple below is hard to market. It is so small. Can you imagine the flesh you can get out of it. If you have many pineapples like this, its better to process it into more valuable products like wine, vinegar, juice, jam or nata.
You can make Nata de Pina by following this method:
- Wash ripe pineapple thoroughly.
- Cut off the ends and divide the fruit into small pieces.
- Pass it through a meat grinder or chop and mash it thoroughly.
- Extract the juice by pressing lightly with hand. Refrigerate the extract.
- Add water equivalent to the pulp residue and mix them well.
- For every part of the mixture, add one part sugar and 100 to 150 ml starter consisting of pure, young, vigorous culture of nata organisms in an appropriate substrate.
- Place the mixture (one-third full) in clean wide-mouthed gallon glass jars. Cover the mixture with paper or cheese cloth and set it aside undisturbed for three weeks.
- After three weeks, harvest the nata and wash it thoroughly.
- Cut into cubes or strips and soak in water every three or four hours.
- Boil the nata in several changes of fresh water until the vinegar-like odor and taste are removed.
- Cook it in syrup ( 2 parts sugar to 1 part water) for 30 minutes. Use 1 part sugar used in preparing syrup for every part of nata. Soak it in syrup overnight. Flavor it with previously extracted pineapple juice.
- Then, boil for another 30 minutes or until the nata cubes are translucent.
- Put the hot nata in clean jars or tin cans. Seal it immediately and process it in boiling water for 30 to 45 minutes depending upon the size of the container. Cool the product, wipe dry, label and then store.
Measure the following physico-chemical properties and and adjust accordingly to your set standard. These properties should be uniform every batch. Adjustments can be computed using Pearson’s Square formula.
a. sugar content. Sugar concentration can be increased by adding sugar or can be lowered by adding water or pulp.
b. pH. This can be lowered by adding citric acid or can be increased by adding water or pulp.
c. titrable acidity. Same as in (a), just replace sugar with citric acid. Be cautious because citric acid affects both pH and titrable acidity.
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. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.