By Catherine dela Angela, UPLB Intern
What is Calamansi?
Calamansi is a citrus fruit that is very popular in the Philippines and even the Department of Agriculture (DA) has recognized it as one of the most important [fruit] crops in the country (Tacio, 2019). It starts producing fruits after two to three years of planting and it grows to about 25 feet at maturity. Harvesters can opt to harvest it when its color becomes pale green or until when they are fully ripened (Gardener Know How).
Combined with soy sauce, it can be used as a dipping sauce for numerous food such as siomai, dumplings, and chicken inasal. It is also used as a condiment in dishes such as sisig, arroz caldo, and pancit. Aside from being a dipping sauce and condiment, calamansi can also be used as a beverage. Through its extract, calamansi is used in making calamansi concentrate.
Due to calamansi concentrate’s good amount of minerals and vitamins, it contains various benefits such as regulating cholesterol, blood glucose, and insulin levels.
Calamansi concentrate can lower the cholesterol level of a person because of its rich pectin content which is a soluble fiber that lowers the “bad cholesterol” or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). It can also prevent diabetes as calamansi can help lower the level of blood glucose and also regulate insulin secretion. It also contains Vitamin C which can strengthen the immune system of the body by providing immunity against infections and it also boosts the energy of the drinker. Moreover, drinking calamansi concentrate can increase bowel movements, thus, relieving constipation (Skaria, 2019).
All of these mentioned benefits are present in the calamansi concentrate that GlowCorp distributes in Puregold and All Day Supermarkets. Calamansi concentrate under the brand names Mindoren-C Calamansi Concentrate and Island’s Best are available in 500 and 750 ml.
The suppliers of Mindoren-C namely Matulatula Agrarian Reform Community Cooperative (MARCCO) based in Pola, Oriental Mindoro, and Island’s Best Foods based in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, that produces Island’s Best Calamansi Concentrate, are among the thirty-one (31) social entrepreneurs that were supported by GlowCorp. GlowCorp was able to purchase from MARCCO and Island’s Best Foods 14,400 bottles of calamansi concentrate amounting to Php1.8M. This enabled the 2 social entrepreneurs to support at least 1,145 calamansi farmers to earn better income.