Promoting pigeon pea coffee as a nutritious alternative beverage explored

August 19, 2009 10:00 am 

MANILA, Aug. 19 — As the national agriculture research and development (R&D) continuously discovers potential agricultural crops like pigeon pea, a lot of nutritious products are being developed.

Pigeon pea, locally known as kadyos, functions both as food and forage crop. It is also used as cover crop for controlling soil erosion due to its strong woody tap root that can penetrate deeply into the soil and has the capability for nitrogen fixation that makes itself tolerable in dry and poor soil conditions.

As food crop, pigeon pea seeds were being processed into flour and were used to bake various food products such as cookies and biscuits.

This time, through the project, “Development, Utilization and Commercialization of Pigeon Pea and Sweet Sorghum Nutri-based Food Products”, other food uses from pigeon pea are being explored. One of which is the pigeon pea coffee.

According to Professor Raul Palaje, project proponent from the Isabela State University (USI), roasted pigeon pea seeds are brewed similar to coffee gained good acceptability and positive remarks during their technology forum conducted in various municipalities of Isabela and Cagayan.

“This is a good start to work on pigeon pea as coffee,” he said in an interview.

Palaje, being a coffee hobbyist, tried to roast and brew corn, rice, soybean, and other crops that can be roasted to experiment a new flavor for coffee.

“But pigeon pea is different compared to those crops I have tested,” Palaje revealed.

Pigeon pea coffee is noted for having a strong aroma compared to traditional coffees that are sold in the market.

Some participants also noted that pigeon pea coffee, when added with cream and a little sugar, tastes like a “Sustagen” or a “Milo”, he added.

On the process, Palaje said, pigeon pea coffee is easy to prepare.

“Harvest mature brown pods by cutting the stem two-feet from the ground or manually hand-picking the seeds. Dry the seeds in an open sunlight twice and clean it before roasting. The seed is roasted to about 20-25 minutes with constant mixing on a frying pan to produce strong aroma. Start roasting at high temperature and gradually adjusted to lower one, cool down and grind to its finest texture. Then you can get your all new roasted pigeon pea coffee,” he explained.

As of now, the technology is still in the process of fine tuning, testing its nutritional value, marketability and production.

Products such as organic vinegar, “basi” wine, handmade paper, vermin compost, pigeon pea syrup, different cookies and other flat bread baked from pigeon pea flour are also included in the project.

While the project recognizes the importance of the agricultural crops as alternative to fossil fuel, Palaje stressed it is also important to generate more food products from these crops that could help ensure the country’s food and nutritional security particularly in the rural areas.

The project is funded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) under its National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP) which is in sync with the long term programs of the government to promote agribusiness in the country and to create job opportunities. LDV/PR

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