As agriculture research and development (R&D) continuous to discover and rediscover potential agricultural crops like pigeonpea, a lot of nutritious products are also developed.
Pigeon pea, locally known as kadyos, functions as both 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. It has the capability to host nitrogen fixation and this makes it adoptable to dry and poor soil conditions.
|Pigeon pea coffee is noted for having a strong|
As a food crop, pigeon pea seeds were previously processed only as flour for baking 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 these is pigeon pea coffee.
According to Professor Raul Palaje, project proponent from the Isabela State University (USI), roasted pigeon pea seeds brewed like coffee gained good acceptance and positive remarks during a technology forum conducted in various municipalities of Isabela and Cagayan. “This is a good start for the work on pigeon pea as coffee,” said Prof Palaje in an interview.
Prof. Palaje being a coffee hobbyist, tried to roast and brew various grains and cereals such as corn, rice, soybean, and other crops to approximate the flavor of 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 observed that pigeon pea coffee, when added with cream and a little sugar, tastes like “Sustagen™” or “Milo™”, he added.
|Prof. Raul B. Palaje (right) of the Isabela State University and proponent of the BAR-NTCP-funded project on pigeon pea coffee shows final product with technology forum participants. (Photos: RPALAJE/ISU)|
On the process, Prof Palaje said that pigeon pea coffee is easy to prepare. “Harvest mature brown pods by cutting the stem two-feet from the ground or manually hand-pick the seeds. Dry the seeds in open sunlight and clean it twice before roasting. The seed is roasted for about 20-25 minutes with constant stirring in a frying pan to produce strong aroma. Start roasting at a high temperature and gradually adjust to a lower one. This is then cooled down and ground to its finest texture. And 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, and testing for its nutritional value, marketability and production.
Development of 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’s agenda.
While the project recognizes the importance of agricultural crops as an alternative to fossil fuels, Prof Palaje stressed that, it is also important to generate more of food products from these crops to 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 create job opportunities.(Edmon B. Agron)