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The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) headed by Director William C. Medrano visited the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, San Marcelino campus (RTMU-SM) on 6 February 2004 for an assessment and documentation of their R&D projects. Gracing the occasion were RTMU-SM President Feliciano Rosete and Chancellor Renato Ruba.
One important R&D project highlighted during the visit was the RMTU’s identification of Sweet Elena, considered to be the best mango variety in the country today. Two researchers from RMTU, Dr. Ester Mariñas and Prof. Remedios Lim, discovered and identified this mango variety.
According to the comparative study conducted, Sweet Elena is a proven superior over other four leading mango varieties including Guimaras’ Talaban and Fresco, Ilocos region’s MMSU Gold, and Zambales’ Lamao. Sweet Elena is superior in terms of weight, sweetness, soluble solids, edibility of flesh, and physical appearance.
In terms of weight, Sweet Elena has the highest fruit weight of 357.33 grams, which is 68 grams heavier than that of Talaban, the largest among the mango varieties studied. In terms of sweetness, Sweet Elena is not far from varieties like MMSU Gold and Talaban. It has 18.98 total soluble solids (TSS) compared to MMSU Gold and Fresco which both have 19 TSS. Sweet Elena has 81.61 percent edible portion or flesh and so far the highest among the varieties of mango identified in the country. As to the physical feature, it is attractive with the presence of red tint at the base of the fruit.
Sweet Elena has already been registered with the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) on 18 October 2002 with the certification of registration awarded to Mrs. Pineda Malabed, owner of the mango tree in Sta. Cruz, Zambales where the Sweet Elena was first identified by RMTU researchers. The certificate of registration was awarded by DA Secretary Luis P. Lorenzo during the Mango Forum held last year. Today, 1.5 ha is planted to Sweet Elena at the RTMU San Marcelino campus to maintain a source of quality planting materials.