Utilization of Mango Peels as Source of Pectin In a project titled “Utilization of Mango Peels as Source of Pectin,” the Philippine Carabao Mango was found to contain high pectin. Pectin is a naturally-occurring polysaccharide found in berries, apples, and other fruits consumption of which showed to reduce blood cholesterol levels. As a group of carbohydrates, pectin is used mainly as a pharmaceutical ingredient in drug suspension and emulsion, wound healing preparations, medical and denture adhesives, and even in lozenges. In cosmetics, it is used as a stabilizer, as a natural texture powder for paste, ointment, oils, and creams. Pectin is also used in hair tonic, shampoo and body lotion. It is also safe as a food additive in jams, jellies, marmalades, yogurt, and baked products. In 2011, data from the Department of Trade and Industry showed that the Philippines imported about 95 kilos of pectin valued at about $52.4 million. The cost of imported pectin is estimated at around P27, 000 per kilogram. The study on mango peels was a joint undertaking of the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), and the Department of Science and Technology’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) conducted by Ma. Cristina B. Gragasin, Aileen R. Ligisin, Rosalinda C. Torres, and Romulo R. Estrella, was conceptualized as an earth-and-money saving research. The research significantly provided a unique extraction process ideal for pharmaceutical grade pectin production from mango peels. With this technology, the use of waste will not only increase resource efficiency and lessen garbage problem, but will also provide the opportunity for the Philippines to be a major pectin exporter if all the projected mango peels at the mango processing plants can be used. Project’s lead researcher Gragasin said that”the production of pectin from mango peels is both technically and economically feasible, therefore, local production of pectin from mango peels is a promising venture.” She added that in every 5 kilograms of carabao mango peel as raw material, a 20% recovery of 1 kilogram of pectin can be produced through an extraction process where mango peels are dissolved in acidified water and subjected to alcohol precipitation. Based on the results, Gragasin said that the cost to produce one kilogram of pectin from mango peels at the laboratory was only Php 5,668 which was way cheaper than the imported pectin’s price of P27, 000 per kilogram. With this laboratory result, Dr. Gragasin’s team is optimistic that commercial-level utilization of mango peels for pectin will be beneficial to the industry. The project won first place as Best Research Paper in the recently held National Symposium on Agriculture Resources Research and Development (NSAARRD) held at the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) in Los Banos, Laguna. NSAARRD is one of the PCAARRD’s initiatives to showcase the most outstanding contributions of individuals and institutions in the improvement of the agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources sectors through research and development.