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Learning about tropical fruit wine processing

by Christmas B. de Guzman
Photos by Christmas B. de Guzman and Rita T. dela Cruz

 

Fruit wines developed by the Food Science Cluster, College of Agriculture, UPLB.

Louis Pasteur said that wine is the most healthful and the most hygienic of all beverages. It can give the human body 500 calories that are normally taken from fats and carbohydrates. All these energy is completely consumed by the body and will not add an ounce of the body weight (Lichine, et al. 1968).

One of the seminars conducted during the 2008 Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Commercialization Forum organized by the Bureau of Agricultural Research was about processing of tropical fruit wines. Prof. Erlinda I. Dizon of Food Science Cluster, College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines Los Baños served as the resource speaker. It was held on 22 August 2008 at the SM Megatrade Hall 2, 5th Level, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

According to Prof. Dizon, wine is a product made by normal alcoholic fermentation of juice from sound, ripe fruits which contains 8-18% alcohol by volume.

There are several health benefits that can be derived from wine. Aside from being a healthy beverage, it was said that wine can deter food poisoning. It can help wipe out the bacteria that are responsible for food-related stomach problems. In addition, red wine reduces the build up of fat cells in the arteries, thus it protects those who are wine-drinker against heart disease.

Recent studies in medicine show the positive effects of moderate wine consumption to the heart. One of the popular findings is the "French Paradox." France is considered both as land of wine-producers and wine-drinkers. It is one of the countries with highest amount of saturated fat intake which is positively correlated with arteroschlerosis, yet there is low incidence of coronary heart disease (Landrault, et al. 2001).

Also, wine can prevent cancer. The catechins in red wine was proven effective in reducing cancer risks. It can also help treat anorexia (which is characterized by loss of appetite), since the alcohol in concentrated form in grape wine improves appetite by prompting the flow of saliva and gastric secretions. Nonetheless, wine is a mild natural tranquilizer as it reduces anxiety and tension.

Prof. Erlinda I. Dizon of Food Science Cluster, College of Agriculture, UPLB.

Some of the locally produced wines include "basi" (sugarcane wine), "laksoy" (nipa wine), "tapuy" (rice wine) and "tuba" (coco wine).

Meanwhile, sources of tropical fruit wines include atis (sugar apple/sweetsop, Anonasquamosa Linn.), bignay (Antidesma bunius Linn.), dalandan (orange, Citrus lanatus), duhat (Philippine plum, Syzygium cumini L. skeels), guyabano (soursop, Anona muricata), kalumpit (Terminalia edulis Linn.), lipote (Syzygium polycephaloides), mangga (mango, Mangifera sp.), mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana Linn.), passion fruit (Passiflora foetida), pinya (pineapple, Ananas comosus Linn.), saging (banana, Musa sp.), and sampalok (tamarind, Tamarindus indica Linn.).

"In fruit wine processing, sorting and washing of the raw ingredients is always the first step. Crushing and slicing is next in the process, followed by dilution, blending, scooping, sugar adjustment, inoculation and establishment of mother starter or culture," stated Prof. Dizon when she started presenting the process of fruit wine making.

Prof. Dizon added that the next process involves fermentation. Once fermentation begins, regardless of the chosen path, it will normally continue on until all of the sugar has been converted to alcohol and a dry wine is produced. From there, harvesting, labeling, bottling and aging follow consecutively.

Problems that can be encountered in processing fruit wines, as mentioned by Prof. Dizon, include:

  1. seasonality of raw materials;
  2. inconsistent quality of products;
  3. limited supply of wine bottles, seals or closures;
  4. lack of proper quality control; and
  5. lack of technical know-how.

On the other hand, she discussed the challenges to today's wine manufacturers such as production of consistent quality products, competitive advantage in terms of product presentation (packaging, label, closure or seal), innovative products, willingness to work hard to establish a thriving business, protecting the natural flavor of the product, identifying functional properties of the product, expand cultivating area for minor but potential fruits for making wine, and utilization of by-products from wine processing.