NEWS AND UPDATES
PCHRD supports Iloilo’s seaweed wines project
Aiming to create new wine products from underutilized seaweeds found in the coasts of Panay Island, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) supports the Seaweed Wines Project implemented by the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISATU).
Led by Mr. Hilario S. Taberna Jr., the project entitled, “Assessment of potential health benefits and safety of wines produced from brown, green, and red seaweeds” aims to assess the potential health benefits and safety of wines produced from the target seaweed species: Turbinaria spp., Ulva spp., and Acanthophora spicifera, which are abundant in the coastal towns of San Dionisio, Concepcion, and Estancia in Northern Iloilo.
Aside from providing a cheaper and healthier option for the Filipino market, the project is also expected to contribute scientific data on the underutilized seaweed species. Expected to be completed in December 2023, the project is eyed to add economic value to seaweeds and generate livelihood for the coastal communities.
Promising results were shown by the project, where pure blends of the seaweed wines were found to have higher total phenolic, flavonoid, and tannin contents than commercially available wines. The seaweed wines developed by the project team have shown favorable results with a pH ranging from 4.0 to 5.0 and alcohol content ranging from 8.2 to 11.4%.
To enhance the taste and odor of the wine, the project also developed formulations with added fruits such as mangoes and pineapples. Currently, the project is still in the process of conducting safety assays prior to conducting sensory evaluation for its consumer acceptability.
“PCHRD’s Functional Food program has been successful in addressing the country’s nutrition and health challenges by supporting the development of innovative food products with health benefits. The seaweed wine project is one of the many projects under this area that explores the health benefits of locally-sourced food products having health advantages beyond their distinctive nutritional benefits,” says PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya.
The Seaweed Wines Project highlights the potential of seaweeds as sources of bioactive compounds and chemical diversity, as well as the importance of supporting research and development initiatives that may benefit not only consumers but also local communities.