Nov 13, 2008

Producing tropical flour offers opportunity for self-sufficiency

Manila Standard Today - Philippines

With the prices of commodities rising in the global market, a company is urging small communities to produce flour from indigenous crops like banana, yams, taro, cassava, bread fruits, arrow root and squash.

Prime Organic Land Agriculture Corp. has succeeded in developing economical processing technologies and baking system, which allows participating communities to achieve self-sufficiency in flour as food and substitute for rice.

The flour can also be used to produce cookies, bread, biscuits, chips and noodles for the community’s consumption and for sale to other barangays. Pola also produces bread, cookies, biscuits, noodles and crunchies with great market acceptance in taste, flavor and textures.

The seminars on crop plantation, flour processing and baking are held daily.

Al Fritz delos Santos of Carica Herbal Health Products Inc. explains that the group holds seminars for barangays at a reasonable cost of P1,500 per attendee. The attendees are taught how to plant crops and produce the flour using a dryer, slicer and grinder.

“The barangays can make their own equipment using pre-fabricated parts,” he says.

Pola has technologies that enable production of 50 variants of organically grown and processed roots, bananas and fruit, all purpose flour, pre-mixes and baked products with greater health and nutritional values than wheat flour.

The integrated system can commercialize the agricultural plantation, processing into flour and baking into bread products. Indigenous flour/starch/crops like yams, taro, sweet potato, arrow roots, cassava, potato, bread fruits and carbohydrates are among the materials that have been identified, studied and commercialized.

Starchy foods have always been staples of the human diet. They are mostly consumed in starch-bearing plants or in foods to which commercial starch or its derivatives have been added.

Starches are now made in many countries from different raw materials such as wheat, barley, maize, rice, white or sweet potatoes, cassava, sago palm and waxy xaize.

Starch and starch products are used in many food and non-food industries and as chemical raw materials for many other purposes, as in plastics and the tanning of leather. Non-food use of starches—such as coating, sizings and adhesives—accounts for about 75 percent of the output of the commercial starch industry.

The food industry is one of the largest consumers of starch and starch products. In addition, large quantities of starch are sold in the form of products sold in small packages for household cooking. Cassava, sago and other tropical starches were extensively used for food prior to World War II, but volume declined owing to the disruption of global trading due to the war.

For more information call, Carica Herbal Health Products Inc. at 523-5603, 521-8763, 302-6154 or fax no. 302-6154. Dinna Chan Vasquez

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