By MA.ELISA P. OSORIO
Source: Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - The local cassava industry was given a boost after Nestle Philippines announced plans to invest P4.35 billion for a non-dairy coffee creamer project in Batangas, the Board of Investments (BOI) said.
In a statement, the BOI said Nestlé is expected to locally source glucose syrup, one of the main ingredients of the coffee creamer and is usually processed from corn or tapioca coming from cassava roots.
“Growing demand for cassava will bring more opportunities for farmers,” said BOI managing head Cristino L. Panlilio. Multinational firms along with small and medium buyers are ready to buy their production as long as their harvest meet their quality and quantity standards, he pointed out.
The project involves the construction of a greenfield factory on a 270,000-square meter land. Nestle will process glucose syrup and hydrogenated palm kernel oil (HPKO) to produce non-dairy coffee creamer. Commercial operation is slated to begin in June 2012, involving a manpower requirement of 478 personnel.
Based on Department of Agriculture data, demand for cassava production is expected to be within the five million metric ton range this year, rising up to 10 million MT by 2014. Various uses of cassava products are already gaining ground. It is also now used in livestock feeds, starch, noodles, native pastries and as sweeteners and confectioners and food seasoning. It is also an ingredient in some medicinal products and is also added material for glue, plywood, paper, textile and biodegradable products. It is even an essential component for bioethanol power plants.
Cassava starch, popularly known as tapioca flour, has an even wider multitude of uses in various industries. Extracted from the root, it is used in food, medicine, paper, adhesives, mining, textile, mining, biodegradable and other manufacturing industries. In the food sector alone, tapioca flour use is in abundance in a number of ways. It is an excellent alternative for wheat flour in baked products and it is also employed as a thickener for soups, sauces, baby food and even gravies. It is also utilized as a filler to complement the solid contents of ice cream and is a reliable binder for hotdogs, sausages and other processed meat products to minimize dryness while cooking it.