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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

“Boholano mozzarella” soon in local markets

TAGBILARAN CITY, JULY 18, (PIA)—It might not be long before mall show cases and display counters would have mozzarella cheese from Bohol dairy farms.

A little more tweaking with the marketing and local mozzarella would be horning its way to the mall stalls, said National Dairy Authority (NDA) marketing officer Arvin Caballo.

Mozzarella, a traditional southern Italy styled white cheese from Italian buffalo milk, is a must cheese for the authentic pizza and pasta lovers.

While a guaranteed traditional product certified for the European Union and elsewhere, imported mozzarellas are now slowly becoming regular fixtures in Philippine delis and food specialty stores.

And as international travelers and Europeans frequenting Bohol now, the need for mozzarella is rising, assented pizza shops who often have to source out the supply from Cebu.

In Bohol, where Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) is located in Ubay town, the facility’s research and development has ventured into carabao dairy, as another alternative use for the traditionally considered work animals.

Considering that the carabao or water buffalos at the PCC are Italian buffaloes, the idea to craft mozzarella is just a natural move, said Caballo.

The PPC along with the NDA, has successfully breached the 1000 liters of local dairy production, and are now into distributing these to school outlets as well as resorts and restaurants.

The downside however of having milk is that it easily gets stale, so processing has to be done to preserve the product and cash in on it, Caballo added.

Milk processing, among the current research and development preoccupations of the facilities in Bohol also increased the supply for Chocobao, a chocolate-carabao milk now being used as welcome drink for tourists here.

Mozzarela making, according to Wikipedia is not as complicated.

After the normal cheese-making, the milk of water buffalo is warmed and curdled and allowed to rest for an hour before the curds are cut into small pieces and the whey is drained off.

Then the curds are allowed to rest for a number of hours.

These curds are steeped for some hours in a bath of very hot water at 95 °, until curds begin to float when most of the liquid in the cheese is removed.

Here, the curd is mixed and kneaded until the required soft, elastic, stringy texture is obtained.

The mass of curd is divided, often by pulling out a thick strand and chopping it, and shaped into individual cheeses.

With the mozzarella possibly locally sourced now, livestock authorities see this providential for farmers.

Meanwhile, Provincial Veterinarian (PVet) Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz said even native dairy animals like cow and carabao are good dairy products sources.

Although native dairy animals do not give that much of milk, these have also been used as beasts of burden.

A native dairy animal produces about 2 to 2.5 liters of milk a day compared to hybrids which give 4-5 liters.

At P30.00 per liter, P75 additional income in a day can be the crucial difference, she said.

Recently, the PVET also noticed an increase in dairy produce especially during the drought months.

“It turned out they had all the time to feed their farm animals because they could not go to the fields, thus we have more milk,” she said.

With the feasibility of dairy animals as giving additional farmers’ income, Dr. Lapiz eyes going back on their past dispersal programs to convince farmers to also explore dairy production.

The PVET used to have a livestock dispersal program under LETS HELP Bohol, now they eye retraining farmer adopters on dairy production, seeing the marketability of dairy products.

Both the NDA and the PCC have also dairy animal dispersal programs. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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