Benguet State University develops Cordilleran “etag” cured pork delicacy into seasoning

HSBC Philippines
Benguet Pork Delicacy
The Cordilleran “etag” cured pork can now be found as a flavor in seasonings. Credits to Benguet State University Public Affairs Office

Benguet State University (BSU) researchers have developed seasonings that carry the flavor of the “etag” native delicacy of the Cordilleras.

The “etag” pork cured in salt and then sun-dried or smoked has been turned into granules, cubes, and liquid seasoning convenience-type products by the Benguet State University-College of Home Economics and Technology (BSU-CHET.

“The products are made of native pork processed in its pure form through dehydration, concentration and reduction,” explained lead researcher Cynthia Garambas in the BSU media release sent to Good News Pilipinas.

BSU reports that the etag granules, cubes, and liquid seasoning were subjected to consumer acceptability and chemical analysis, and their cost of production and pricing were also established.

The acceptability of the products were evaluated according to their quality specifically the color, aroma, texture and taste. Results showed that the average acceptability of the products among local consumers is “like moderately”.

“Sensory evaluation for the acceptability of the products was extended to the non-local consumers in order to gain insight on the market potential of the products outside Cordillera. It was noted that all the etag variants when developed into etag cubes and granules are acceptable to non-local evaluators. As to the developed liquid seasoning, it was found out that the cold-smoked and sun-dried variants are not acceptable to the non-local evaluators due to the intense smoky flavor and the concentration of salt in the sun-dried variant,” Garambas said.

The etag research also looked into the production cost and pricing of the products. The determined selling price costs Php 5.60 for one etag cube, Php 9.22 for a pack of etag granules and Php 45.07 for a 50 ml bottle of etag liquid seasoning. According to Garambas, an etag recipe book is underway and it contains dishes where the convenience-type products could be used such as in stews and soups.

The research conducted by Garambas, Sherilyn B. Balauro, Rolando M. Tawanna Jr., May Crisline V. Gumihid and Charity Joy P. Dulnuan was funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) and Benguet State University.

BSU has been conducting researches for the commercialization of etag with the general aim to standardize etag production and processing. ­­The ­PCAARRD-BSU R&D project in 2015 titled “Value Adding of Cordillera Pork-Based Ethnic Food Delicacy (Etag) for Commercialization” has generated technologies that led to the production of food safety compliant etag and optimized the process of making three etag variants namely hot-smoked, cold-smoked and sun-dried.

“Cordillerans serve etag and other ethnic foods to guests as they take pride in showing their customs, dances, music and other crafts to local and foreign tourists in the region. In 2007, during the first Ethnic Food Fair in La Trinidad, etag and other pork-based delicacies were among the popular exhibits. Inclusion of these pork-based delicacies in the menu of high-end restaurants that cater to tourists highlights the market potential of these native food products,” said Balauro.

Benguet State University had previously developed a lure trap to beat coffee pests, a new technology for strawberry production, and has been helping Cordillera farms fight climate change effects.

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Aurora Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.