Department of Science and Technology (Photo courtesy of DOST)

MANILA – A collaborative research and development project exploring the development of ready-to-drink juices made from indigenous crops will be funded and supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

In a taped report aired on Friday, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the agency will provide funding and technical assistance for the project of the Lyceum of the Philippines University and Vinoca Manufacturing, which processes natural drinks.

Lyceum and Vinoca researchers aim to develop the juices out of green carabao mango, mint, and yacon, a root tube plant that tastes like apple, watermelon, and celery combined.

"Green mango is rich in antioxidant, acidic, and has vitamin-rich properties, while yacon is a nutraceutical product rich in phenolic acids, antioxidants, and flavonoids," de la Peña said.

Mint, on the other hand, is packed with phytonutrients that help produce enzymes for digestion, he added.

The DOST chief said the collaborative project will determine the physico-chemical, microbiological, and sensory properties of the ready-to-drink juices.

"During the development of the juice, the product nutritional value, sugar profile, and functional properties will be characterized," he said.

Vinoca Manufacturing and food experts from Lyceum will also identify significant trends, drivers and influences of the current marketing trend of ready-to-drink juices using locally available fruits, de la Peña said. (PNA)