The prospects of pro­duc­ing man­gos­teen juice in the coun­try

Agriculture - - Contents -

WHILE MANY have ven­tured into the pro­duc­tion of man­gos­teen juice—whether branded or un­branded—a bi­ol­o­gist from Pa­ga­dian en­tered the in­dus­try with his own con­coc­tion. How­ever, the man­gos­teen juice for­mu­lated by Joseph Mil­fred M. Arce­nal (or Bobby, as he is fondly called) was orig­i­nally meant for the con­sump­tion of fam­ily mem­bers and friends, and not for com­mer­cial pur­poses. Arce­nal came up with his for­mula af­ter his father Al­fredo re­tired in June 1997 at the age of 65 from be­ing the head teacher of one of the pri­mary schools in Zamboanga del Norte. The se­nior Arce­nal un­der­went a checkup upon reach­ing 75 and it was found that he had hy­per­thy­roidism and a heart prob­lem, which were caus­ing him to lose his ap­petite (and lead­ing to weight loss) and suf­fer from low en­ergy lev­els.

Ac­cord­ing to some ex­perts, hy­per­thy­roidism can also cause ar­rthyth­mia, which may lead to atrial fib­ri­la­tion, stroke, and con­ges­tive heart fail­ure. The younger Arce­nal beleives that this might be the rea­son why his father has a heart prob­lem.

Bobby Arce­nal bought com­mer­cially avail­able man­gos­teen juice in Pa­ga­dian City for R2,000 per bot­tle and sent it to his father in Dipolog City, cau­tion­ing that it was only a health food sup­ple­ment. He how­ever noted that the juice con­tained ac­tive com­pounds which might help pro­mote a health­ier body, lead­ing him to be­lieve that it worked for his father.

Father and son de­cided to make their own ver­sion of the man­gos­teen juice for their own con­sump­tion at about half the price since wild man­gos­teen is abun­dant in the Zamboanga Penin­sula re­gion. Bobby pro­cessed man­gos­teen juice in Pa­ga­dian City, while his father pro­cessed his own in Dipolog City; the two com­pared de­vel­op­ments from time to time.

To sus­tain their re­search phase, they had to pro­duce their own ver­sion of man­gos­teen juice at semi-com­mer­cial lev­els through Bobby’s HERBio Food Prod­ucts, sell­ing th­ese at R350 per bot­tle at that time. They then de­cided to join a govern­ment-spon­sored lo­cal expo event un­der the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (DTI) to test the

mar­ket.

In May 2008, the Re­gion 9 of­fice of the DTI spon­sored a Re­gional Trade Expo at the SM Mega­mall in Man­daluy­ong, Metro Manila, where HERBio Food Prod­ucts emerged as a “Top Seller” in the Food Sec­tor, best­ing other ex­hibitors from the Zamboanga Penin­sula.

Af­ter the event, Bobby re­al­ized that two prob­lems needed to be re­solved. First, they needed to se­cure the avail­abil­ity of man­gos­teen—the sup­ply of which is sea­sonal—to meet the de­mand for the juice; se­cond, they needed to con­form with the re­quire­ments pre­scribed by the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA) and the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD).

Thus, Bobby rented a BFAD-com­pli­ant pro­cess­ing plant in Pa­ga­dian City, and de­vel­oped a sys­tem to nat­u­rally pre­serve the man­gos­teen con­cen­trates for at least one year. He then de­vel­oped his own guid­ing prin­ci­ple to make the pro­cessed man­gos­teen juice safer and health­ier, and to process the fruit with­out us­ing any preser­va­tives.

He said that the man­gos­teen juice he pro­duces does not con­tain pro­cessed sugar, as he only uses wild honey. The sta­bi­lizer he uses is ex­tracted from a fresh “sea bird’s nest” and ex­plained that this is rich in col­la­gen.

Not all man­gos­teen fruits are cre­ated equal, said Bobby; the bit­ter­ness of the man­gos­teen peel can be neu­tral­ized by fer­men­ta­tion through IMO (in­dige­nous micro­organ­isms); and the aroma of the fruit was cap­tured through infusion and blended with other wild and nat­u­rally-farmed fruits.

Now that the younger Arce­nal has ded­i­cated him­self to the com­mer­cial pro­cess­ing of man­gos­teen juice, he said that he will fur­ther im­prove his for­mu­la­tion (and that of the other bev­er­ages he pro­duces) to make them bet­ter. He ac­knowl­edged how the help and as­sis­tance of three govern­ment agen­cies—the

Re­gion 9 of­fice of the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, the pro­vin­cial of­fice of the Depart­ment of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy in Pa­ga­dian City, and the Dipolog and Pa­ga­dian pro­vin­cial of­fices of the DTI—made his man­gos­teen prod­uct pos­si­ble. Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the prospects of pro­duc­ing man­gos­teen juice in the coun­try, Bobby said he will for­mally launch his prod­uct in the Metro Manila area in March of this year. (JULIO P. YAP, JR.)

Th­ese are among the prod­ucts pro­duced by th Almedas, who process lo­cally-avail­able fruits into healthy and re­fresh­ing drinks.

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