Seaweeds Processing (Village Level)

a. Philippine Natural Grade (PNG) Carrageenan Chips

Step by step process

  1. Washing the raw materials – removes the sea salts, dirt, mud, and sand entrained in the seaweeds.
  2. Alkali treatment – improves the quality properties of the product, making the product more valuable.
  3. Post-alkali washing – removes as much of alkali from the treated seaweed and to have a quality product and better yield.
  4. Bleaching – improves product appearance, color and reduces bacterial contamination in the seaweed.
  5. Acidification – neutralizes the last | remaining traces of caustic soda and adjusts the pH to 7.
  6. Chopping – the seaweed into small pieces before drying increases the efficiency in pulverizing the product.
  7. Drying – the treated weeds to a maximum of 15% moisture content. Then, produces the PNG Carrageenan Chips.

Packaging is the leading edge ingredient in economic development and sustainability. Trade can not progress without packaging. It allows for the orderly and economic distribution of all products. Packaging is an effective marketing tool to a fast developing retail trade and as a systematic means of safe delivery of goods to the ultimate consumers in sound condition and minimum cost.

b. Agar Processing

Step by step process

  1. Washing – of raw materials removes the sea salts, dirt, mud, and sand entrained in the seaweeds to produce a clean and good quality product.
  2. Alkali treatment – improves the getting properties of the product-agar, making it more valuable. Alkali treatment results in a purer product and facilitates the filtering stage as the viscosity of the agar solution is lowered by this treatment.
  3. Post-alkali washing – removes as much of alkali from the treated Glacilaria. ‘This is important for agar product quality and yield.
  4. Bleaching – improves the color and appearance of the product. It also reduces bacterial contamination in the seaweed.
  5. Chopping – increases the efficiency of extraction
  6. Extraction – of agar from the Glacilaria is facilitated by utilizing the highest temperature as possible. In order to dissolve the contained agar, the temperature must be above the agar melting point, normally above 90° C.
  7. Gelification – is getting of filtered extract solution by cooling at ambient temperature; saves energy during the freezing process for agar bars. Gel is cut into correct size for agar bars and into small pieces for gel de-watering operation.
  8. Freezing – is the only way to manufacture agar strips and bars. The agar solid contained in the gel form a matrix surrounded by ice. This is a convenient method of recovering agar from dilute solutions, although this procedure costs considerably more both in equipment capital cost and operational cost than the alternative pressure de-watering method.
  9. Thawing – is the removal of water from the chilled agar bar or frozen gel blocks by exposing it to a normal temperature and air.
  10. Drying – is necessary to obtain the maximum of 15% moisture content for good quality product results. It can be done in a solar dryer or homemade dryer.
  11. Grinding/Milling – pulverizes the agar bar.

Estimated Cost for Village Level Seaweed

  • 40 kg capacity per day for agar
  • 40 kg capacity per day for PNG chips

Constructing Seaweed Solar Dryer

Seaweed Industry in the Philippines plays a big role in the upliftment of the country’s economy. Fisherfolk in the countryside, however, engaged on seaweed culture/production encounter problems when drying harvested seaweed due to unpredictable weather condition. Special attention must be given especially during rainy months.

Different drying techniques were adopted and finally the National Seaweed Technology Development Center (NSTDC) came up with a solar drying facility appropriate for all seasons.

The NSTDC’s 30 sq. meters Seaweed Solar Dryer is made up of plastic roofing and walls and galvanized iron pipes as the skeletal structure and four lanes of double-decked drying racks, which can accommodate a maximum of 1,000 kg. fresh seaweeds.

The temperature inside the Dryer during sunny period is 7-8 °C higher than the outside temperature while 4 to 5 °C higher during rainy period. And, a 38% MC of seaweeds may be attained after 2-3 days drying period on sunny days. Also, Seaweed is less exposed to bacterial contaminants when dried using the said Dryer.

Cost Estimated of a 30 Sq. Meter Solar Dryer

I. Hardware Materials

  • 16 pcs. 2x2x2′ Angle bar @ P470.00/pc – P 7,520.00
  • 9 pcs. 1 1/2 dia. G.I. pipe sched. 40 @ P890.00/pc. – 8,010.00
  • 9 pcs. 1 1/4 dia. G.I. pipe sched. [email protected]/pc.- 7,155.00
  • 18 pcs. 1″ dia. G.I. pipe sched. 40 @ P530.00/pc. – 9,540.00
  • 16 pcs. Wood racks @ P400.00/pc. – 6,400.00
  • 30 bags Portland cement @P170.00/bag – 5,100.00
  • 4 cu.m Washed sand @ P420.00/cu. m – 1,680.00
  • 4 cu. m Well-graded gravel @ P500.00/CU. m – 2,000.00
  • 60 pcs. 4″ C.H.B @ P8.00/pc. – 480.00
  • Sub-Total – P 47,885.00
  • Labor cost (35% of the Total cost of materials) – 16,579.75
  • Total – P 64,644.75

II. Fabrication of plastic roofing and walls P 14,000.00

  • Grand Total – P 78,644.75

For further information, contact:

Seaweed Information Office
National Seaweed Technology Development Center
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Cabid-an, Sorsogon City
Phone: (056) 211-5213
Email: [email protected]

photo from eatingasia.typepad.com

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