A project by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will make Tarlac the top producer of export-grade Ylang-Ylang oil in the Philippines.

PhilMech Executive Director Rex L. Bingabing said that the agency and KOICA, through its Deputy Resident Representative Heesoo Hong, signed an agreement last week that will facilitate the deployment of 10 Ylang-Ylang oil extractor machines in various barangays in Tarlac, which will make cooperators in the selected barangays produce export grade oil from Ylang-Ylang.

The Ylang-Ylang oil extractor machine was designed by Korean experts in collaboration with the Korean Inventions Promotion Association (KIPA), which is under the Korean Intellectual Property Office, a government agency in South Korea.

“The machine can process 10 kilograms of Ylang-Ylang flowers in six to eight hours to produce 10 milliliters of oil. The aim is for the cooperators to produce export grade Ylang-Ylang oil which commands a high price in the export market,” Bingabing said.

Export grade Ylang-Ylang oil costs P45,000 per liter. The Korean Inventors Promotion Association collaborated with PhilMech to develop the Ylang-Ylang oil extracting machine. KOICA will be providing P20 million for the project.

The Ylang-Ylang being grown and propagated in Anao, Tarlac is considered to offer the best scent among Ylang-Ylang trees in the Philippines, and has an export potential as a cologne or a raw material for perfumes.

Ylang-Ylang’s origins is in Southeast Asia and can be propagated through seeds. The Ylang-Ylang tree can grow up to 80 feet and steam distillation is the most popular method in extracting oil from its flowers.

PhilMech tested its first Ylang-Ylang oil extractor machine in Anao, Tarlac since last year.

Prior to the development of the prototype oil extractor machine by PhilMech, the people of Anao had to sell their harvested flowers to processors or undertake a cottage-level extraction of the oils which is not usually efficient.

Bingabing said that PhilMech’s Ylang-Ylang oil extractor machine is also a product of Agrinnovation, where existing technologies are modified or even improved to suit Philippine conditions.

The Agrinnovation approach of PhilMech for its research and development activities on farm machines has resulted to the development of prototype models in six to 12 months compared to usual three to five years.(PhilMech Communication Team)(Photo by: Jimmy Camba)