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Utilization of Malunggay Parts as Food Products

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Developing food products from malunggay

Under the on-going DA-BAR funded project entitled "Development, On-Farm Demonstration and Piloting of Promising Value-adding Technologies for Export Potential and Banner Commodities of Bicol," BIARC has found new ways to integrate malunggay in various food preparations as well as packaged it into different product lines. These include malunggay tea, instant juice, malunggay powder, polvoron, yema, cookies, noodles, pastillas, and the malunggay surprise.

Malunggay leaves were separated from the stalks and were either oven dried or sun dried. They call these dried leaves as "malunggay tea." The pounded dried leaves of malunggay, on the other hand are turned into "moringa powder" which can be mixed into common Filipino delicacies such as soups, sauces, instant noodles, polvoron, cookies, and chocolates as an added ingredient. In this way, children who are not very fond of vegetables get to ingest essential nutrients present in malunggay without knowing it. This newly developed products has a shelf life of six months at the most depending on the packaging materials used.

Take a second look at that lowly malunggay in your backyard. Oftentimes we just ignore it and we would rather spend our precious money for those expensive vegetables in the market. Little did we know that this very ordinary vegetable is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that our body needs.

Fresh malunggay (Moringa oleifera) leaves are rich in vitamins A, B, C, calcium, potassium, protein and iron. Studies showed that malunggay gives a feeling of wellness and at the same time balances sugar and cholesterol content in the body. Leaves can be prescribed to treat anemia. Dubbed as miracle vegetable or the power gulay, malunggay is now being processed as food fortificant, food supplement, and even potent medicine.

Seeing this great agribusiness potential of malunggay, Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap urged the agriculture stakeholders to increase the production and diversify the uses of this vegetable and thereby help in fighting hunger and malnutrition especially in the rural areas.



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