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Tuesday, December 24, 2019



By Melchor F. Cichon

Everybody is familiar with instant coffee, instant salabat, instant noodles, etc. But nobody has heard of even thought of someone producing Instant Bagoong—that smelly, yet sought-after Filipino delicacy.
Yes, Instant Bagoong.
It is now possible to produce this appetizer instantly and enjoy its taste and aroma just like the traditional bagoong.  Aside from that, it is now possible to transport this product anywhere without hearing any unpleasant comments from seatmates.
This breakthrough was developed in 1996 by then an undergraduate student, Liza Marie T. Jaranilla of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, U.P. in the Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo. Her adviser was Prof. de la Cruz.
In her thesis entitled “Development of a Cabinet-Dried and Vacuum-Dried ‘Bagoong’ As a Potential Convenience Food Item,” Jaranilla points out that the appearance of the Instant Bagoong she produced resembled with that of the traditional bagoong when it was hydrated or mixed with water.
Before the mixture was cabinet or vacuum-dried, the shrimp (Acetes sp.) was mixed with ionized salt in 1:6 ratio. That is one part of salt to six parts of shrimp by weight.
The mixing was done by hand. It was done seven hours after it was caught to develop a reddish purpose color shrimp bagoong. This color is said to be the ideal color of shrimp bagoong. 
Fermentation of the mixture lasted for one month, although one week fermentation is  already enough.  After which, the bagoong was vacuum- or cabinet-dried.
Jaranilla found out that in terms of aroma and flavor, the dried bagoong produced by the cabinet method was superior than the one produced by vacuum drying.  However, in terms of color, the vacuum-dried bagoong was better.  It had reddish purple color, while that one produced y cabinet-drying method was brownish.
The temperature used by Jaranilla for the vacuum-drying ranged from 40-45oC for 10-12 hours at 10-15 pound per second, while in the cabinet-drying method, the same temperature was used but the drying period was 16-18 hours.
When the dried bagoong was exposed to room temperature, both products developed molds and halophilic organisms that caused their spoilage. Halophilic organisms are those organisms that grow in salty products. However, product done through vacuum-drying method has less molds and halophilic organisms than in cabinet-drying method.
She therefore recommends that, after the process, the dried bagoong be sealed immediately in moisture-vapor proof material like cellophane or polyethylene to lengthen its self-life.
The product produced by Jaranilla is still in its preliminary stage, but once it is given enough funding for its product improvement, this technology will earn millions of peso for the Filipinos.

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