Sunday, November 13, 2016

UPLB develops package of technology for postharvest processing of sea cucumber

Class A Premium grade dried sea cucumber (left photo) compared with low-grade sun-dried sea cucumber (right photo) (Image credit: UP-Marine Science Institute)

To address the issue on quality and value of Philippine dried sea cucumbers, the University of the Philippines Los BaƱos (UPLB) developed a package of technology for the postharvest processing of sea cucumber specifically, Holothuria scabra.

The technology produces Class A premium grade sea cucumber with reduced microbial content, improved shelf life, and no foul odor, thus commanding a higher market price.

Sea cucumber is a high-value commodity that provides coastal communities with lucrative sources of income. However, its value remains low because the high value species are depleted. Its depletion can be attributed to unregulated harvesting and trade and the absence of know-how on the part of the fishers on the best processing method to produce high value dried sea cucumbers.

The technology is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its research and development arm, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

To increase awareness on the technology, PCAARRD and the Ilocos Agriculture, Aquatic Resources Research and Development Consortium (ILAARRDEC) conducted the first postharvest training at the Mariano Marcos State University - College of Aquatic Science and Applied Technology (MMSU-CASAT), Currimao, Ilocos Norte. It was attended by participants from Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), MMSU, Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT), Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College (ISPSC), Cagayan State University (CSU), Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 2 (DA RFO 2) and Department of Science and Technology Region 1 (DOST Region 1), Local Government Units of (LGUs) Pasuquin and Currimao, Ilocos Norte.

Through actual demonstration, participants had first-hand experience on using both the package of technology and traditional method.  They were able to experience how the postharvest technology improved the traditional drying practices. The training included a series of lecture discussions, video presentations, and action planning.

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The Mail Man

Author & Editor - The Philippines' Web Magazine on Agriculture.

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