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Crop processing machine is most outstanding invention

March 18, 2010


January 22, 2010, 2:02pm

A mult-purpose processing machine that performs the functions of a crusher, juice extractor and a mill garnered the Most Outstanding Invention (Tuklas Award) and the WIPO Gold Medal and Certificate Award during the 2009 National Invention Contest awarding ceremonies held at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City.

The research team, which is based in the Polangui Campus of Bicol University in Albay, is composed of Engr. Arnulfo Malinis, Engr. Eleanor Balute, Engr. Estrella Calpe and Engr. Herminigildo Lizano. In addition to the plaque, medal and certificate, the team took home P150,000 as cash prize.

Engr. Malinis explained that the development of such machine helps address the need for appropriate postharvest processing facilities for agricultural products in the countryside to enable farmers to add value to their produce so they can sell these products at higher prices.

The machine can process ginger rhizomes at a rate of 80 kilogram (kg) per hour, pandan leaves at 20 kg per hour, lemongrass leaves at 25 kg per hour, and arrowroot tubers at 80 kg per hour. It is powered by 1 hp motor and requires just one person for an 8-hour operation.

The researchers recommended, however, that the crops should be fresh upon processing to obtain the best results.

The use of the crop processing machine can be further maximized when combined with other equipment to make up a processing system designed for the production of a specific commodity.

For instance, the crop processing machine can be integrated in the mechanical process of producing ginger brew and powder from ginger rhizomes in combination with other equipment such as washer, crystallizer, and micromill, which are also developed by Engr. Malinis’ team.

The crop processing machine also works well as a component of a processing system for the mechanical production of arrowroot starch and flour. This project, which Engr. Malinis conducted with Engr. Salvador Albia and Engr. Christopher Pacardo also of Bicol University Polangui Campus, won third prize at the Outstanding Utility Model category of the 2009 National Invention Contest.

Engr. Malinis said that the ginger brew, ginger powder, arrowroot starch and flour produced using their locally developed machines are of high quality but are half cheaper than similar commercially available products in the market. He said that a buyer from Metro Manila has recently expressed interest in marketing their ginger powder.

The crop processing machine costs P95,000 per unit. This investment can be recovered in two years if the machine is used for a single product, or one year when used for processing various products.

Engr. Malinis said that there are now around 15 units of the crop processing machine sold in Bicol region and nearby provinces. Bicol University partners with Kolbi, a local fabricator, for the manufacture of the machine.

Other Outstanding Inventions

Other outstanding inventions named in the 2009 Invention Contest’s Tuklas Award category were the Rex Compost Tea Brewer invented by Capt. James Fos Reamon which got the second prize, and the Manufacturing Process for Hard Carrageenan Capsules developed by researchers from the Industrial Technology Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology which got the third prize.

Another notable invention was the so-called Magichanic Oil by Johnny Sy of Bagiuo City, which bagged the first prize in the Outstanding Utility Model category. Magichanic oil is an engine oil additive mixed with plant oils and is claimed to maximize the performance, fuel efficiency and combustion of vehicle engine, thereby saving on fuel and extending its life. Users attest that Magichanic oil is environment friendly and helps increase their profit due to the protection and additional mileage that it gives to their vehicles.

Claro Santiago Jr. of the University of Perpetual Help in Las Piñas got the second prize under the Outstanding Utility Model category with his invention called medical bandage from mushroom mycelium.

On one hand, the team of Rubelyn Delfin, Milagros Nillo and Flory Libunao got the second prize in the Outstanding Creative Research category or Likha Award, with their entry titled “Commercialization Potential of Suksuk for Handwoven Silk Fabric.

Young scientists also had equally outstanding inventions. One of them is the team of high school students from Arturo Eustaquio Science High School in Zamboanga City who produced biodegradable plastics (Bioplastem) from shells of brown shrimps through polymerization. Their research bagged the first prize in the Student Creative Research category or Sibol Award high school level, and WIPO Gold Medal and Certificate Award in the same category.

Special awards include the 2nd Chemrez Green Chemistry Awards which honored contestants who embody the ideals of green chemistry in their inventions and research projects. Green chemistry is the design of chemical products or processes that reduce the use or generation of harmful substances and enable efficient resource utilization.

Another is the Philippine Development Alternatives Foundation, Inc. Award for Agricultural Productivity which recognizes the need to mobilize, encourage and support strategies for technology development innovation and adaptation.

The 2009 National Invention Contest and Exhibits was organized by the DOST through the Technology Application and Promotion Institute.

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