To Extract or To Blend

Perhaps the next juice on your hand is like a carefully processed sapphire. A clear see through liquid with a light tint. Maybe red, blue, orange, brown or yellow. There are two reasons for this. The fruit of concern was extracted down to clarity. Second, the juice is water tinted with laboratory prepared coloring and flavorings.  Our favorite low cost juice that is later taxed higher ( due to sugar tax under TRAIN Law) and banned in  public schools.

This appearance is natural for wine, bandy, whisky and other spirits. Wine is either forced clarified or thru natural process by aging. For other alcohols, distillation process is a sure way to get rid of impurities, unless it is added back after. However, pulp is a necessary component of fermentation. Grapes, the primary wine ingredient, is crushed, not extracted.

We are accustomed to this that we want to extract juice from our favorite fruit. Even if we know that it is better to blend it with the pulp, perhaps additional water and sugar if we want to. Better yet, eat it unaltered. It is boring though and not always possible. Like if we want to transfer it to distant location or eat later. Refrigeration and freezing are expensive solutions. Processing techniques are often cheaper and effective alternative. Reducing the juice into instant powder is one of the best way. Customers can later reconstitute it to fiberless and sapphire like juice.

When buying a juicer, there are two choices. First is a device that separate juice from pulp. It could either be a screw press type ( the one use for pressing oil ). Or, the centrifugal. Spinning at high speed to throw away the juice first then pulp into separate bin. One container for juice and one for pulp. The second are blenders. A cylindrical container with spinning blade in bottom. High speed that some brands can go up to 20,000 plus rpm. It never separates juice from pulp. It mixes it to homogeneity. Some manufacturers are using it as marketing tool. Emphasizing fibers are essential part. It shouldn’t be thrown away. Other high speed blenders claim that their brands can release nutrients. Making them readily available for absorption.

On my point of view, getting the juice and throwing away the pulp is kind of waste. Like what we did in project study the last time. We made dragon fruit jelly. Guess what we did with the pulp? We threw it away. Now I am thinking, it shouldn’t be the case. We should have made dragon fruit jam instead. Or, developed other useful products with the remaining pulp, like fruit leather, pastillas, candy and polvoron. For home preparation, go for blends (puree) instead of clear juice. You and I might not be a nutritionist but we both know that fibers are good for us.

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.

Reworking Fruit Jam to Fruit Leather

Reducing juice volume without use of any sophisticated equipment is a daunting task. Boiling and stirring it for several hours. Ensuring the sides and bottom are regularly scraped to prevent burning. Stirring is getting harder on muscles as the pulp and sugar concentration rises. The heat against skin makes you wanna leave it and take a long rest. Even harder for heavy concentrates, jellies, jams and fruit leathers.

When someone asked me to specifically use her homemade fruit jam as inclusion for chocolate bars. I asked her to remove more moisture, cook it longer than usual and make the texture similar to fruit leather. Chocolate hating moisture is a known fact. It must not interfere with the process.

The product arrived in its usual texture. Spreadable jam. I was screwed. I could still use it though as bonbon fillings. Something that explodes after biting its crunchy shell. However, the request was not bonbon. It was chocolate bar with visible dried fruit specs on back. I cannot just place it on bar while molding. It will flow out surely once the bar is placed sideward or up-side-down. You know when it comes to chocolate bars, putting “this side up” sign is ridiculous. Who will follow the ridiculous sign by the way? It will simply not work.

fruit jam spread

It need rework. If cooking it from scratch in a pan is tedious. I bet it is even more for rework. Imagine the hard work of mixing and taking care not to get it burnt.

What I did? I spread it thinly in a pan and heated in oven for almost three hours. The purpose was to remove moisture but prevent it from getting burnt. Spreading it thinly exposed wide surface area which aided drying without stirring. It would have been faster if I have forced convection oven and able to spread it even thinner.

Last thing, I suggest putting it on baking paper for easy removal.

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.

Santol Fruit: Causes of Postharvest Losses

There are three major causes of postharvest losses of Santol Fruit. They are: lack of available processing technologies, lack of storage facilities and lack of knowledge on proper handling.

kalan casualty

1) Lack of available processing technologies. Perhaps it is the major cause of postharvest losses. When the santol Bangkok variety came to existence, lots of farmers in our area planted many trees and started getting bountiful harvest after several years. However, the santol fruit has very few processing technologies available and no commercially available product is made from such. There are few available on market but no being produced on commercial scale. These lead to a very low market demand bringing down the price per sack to only 50 pesos. Such low price cannot cover for the cost of harvesting and hauling. Santol fruit only commands higher price at the beginning of the season. It dramatically drops towards the middle forcing many farmers to leave the fruits rotting on trees.

2) Lack of cold storage facilities. Farmers, wholesalers and retailers never have the means to store the products at colder temperature.  The marketing channels have to do their best to sell the product before it reach its end life. The best way to do this is lower the price instead of extending the life span. If they are unsuccessful, all the commodity left behind will be gone to rot.

3) Lack of knowledge on proper handling. The fruit has a very low demand and so postharvest studies are also rare. There is limited information about shelf life, cold storage and proper packing, including modified atmosphere packaging.

Santol is usually packed in sacks with the bottom and top cushioned with santol leaves for damage protection. However, the thin sack and the leave cushioning are not enough to protect it during transport. Two sacks are secured with ropes on side of horse and another sack on horseback. The handler thinks the santol thick rind can handle the pressure.

The sacks are usually left under the heat of sun for several hours to days. It has no protection against extreme heat and considerable moist from rain.

During vehicular transport, the sacks are pack in such a way to maximize the space. The hired vehicle should carry the maximum possible load to cover the transport cost. No shelves to reduced pressure and provide ample ventilation. This practice is detrimental to fruits. Fruits at the bottom suffer heat and pressure damage.

Another bad thing is the mixed mode of transport. Wholesalers never transport a single type of commodity. All types are arranged in a single compartment, which is the whole vehicle.  Goods producing large amount of ethylene are causing premature ripening of the others, and rot before reaching the market destination.

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.

Ang Unang Bunga | The Advanced Santunis Fruiting

Mom and Dad are occasionally bringing home santunis / dalandan. One, two three to five santunis, ten at most. It seems the time for another big harvest is coming. A very steep price at the season onset then sure going down until them and other farmers never want harvesting because of a very low pricing.

the one and only santunis

I read somewhere that santunis and dalandan are different things. I am not sure about it. I searched around the net and found no further information. Please enlighten me!

The law of supply and demand kicks in. Consumers wanted santunis very much but the supply volume is still low. As the season progress, the volume becomes larger and the people eating such feel they had enough. Too many supply but less people wanting to eat.

I thought the season is beginning. I asked mom and dad for more citrus fruits. I would like to share it with my co-workers and boss. I was a bit confused when they only gave me two kilograms and said, “There were only few big ripe fruits. The rest are small and for harvest by December to January”.

So the fruits they gave me were advanced fruits. It sure command high price if brought to market place. How I wish all trees in their farm are fruiting in advance. More fruits, higher cost and more income.

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.

Using Bubod To Make Fruit Wines

Can I use bubod for fruit wine making? Hmm… Lets do some analysis.

Here is a simple tapuy making procedure.

1) Boil balatinaw (a variety of red rice) in a large wok until cooked.
2) Cool and arrange in a wooven bamboo tray, bilao.
3) Sprinkle with powdered bubod. Cover with fresh banana leaves and store for three days or until mold growth is observed.
4) Transfer it to earthen jar. Cover. Store for 20 days.
5) Harvest the liquid as tapuy and the fermented rice as lepeg.

The bubod was invented by our ancestors for the sole purpose of making wine out of rice. Perhaps the discovery was accidental. Original tapuy are made of balatinaw red rice. Due to scarcity of this red rice, a short gluntenous rice  is widely used as replacement.

Tapuy making is a two process fermentation. First is the conversion of complex carbohydrates to simple sugars. It is carried out by the mold koji or Aspergillus oryzae. The next step is fermentation of sugar to alcohol. The responsible microorganism for this second step is yeast of Saccharomyces species.

The procedure above directed to add powdered bubod to freshly cooked rice – the first fermentation stage which needs Aspergillus oryzae. No direction to add yeast culture in second stage – storing in earthen jar for 20 days. From this, we can assume that both Aspergillus and Saccharomyces are present in bubod.

Then, bubod can be used in fruit wine making. The yeast will be active while the mold will become dormant. The conditions of wine making is not favorable for mold growth.

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.