Goat meat on-the-go
Filipinos have impeccable taste and it shows even to the simplest “pulutan.” In an occasion where eating isn’t even the main activity, the food still has to be delicious.
In Northern Luzon, a favorite partner for a round of drinks is chevon or goat’s meat dishes. Ask anyone from Ilocos Norte and they would tell you that no celebration is complete without papaitan, kaldereta, or kinilaw na kambing. It’s no wonder the Ilocos region is among the top producers of goat and goat-based products.
Because we live in such a fast-paced world, the locals who once enjoyed eating goat’s meat at home in the province may have likely moved to the city or even overseas, the laid back provincial lifestyle was traded in for a busy and frantic urban hustle.
What still remains is a longing for a taste of home. So the folks from Central Luzon, a region that also has a growing goat production industry, set out to bring beloved homemade goat dishes to the city.
According to Ms. Venus Quines from the Department of Food Science and Technology of Central Luzon State University (CLSU), goat’s meat may be popular among those who eat it as pulutan, but as processed, ready-to-eat products, such form has not yet been properly developed. CLSU has therefore placed themselves to be among the universities at the forefront of further realizing the profitability of chevon through product development. “Together we can claim na sa goat, may kita,” said Ms. Quines.
This year, CLSU unveiled three new and innovative chevon-based products through a research initiative funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) through its National Technology Commercialization Program titled “Enhancement if Innovative Chevon-Based Products Towards Commercialization.”
CLSU saw that the time was ripe to bring chevon-based products not only to the local market but also internationally. Both Central Luzon and Northern Luzon had earlier began improving the practice of goat-raising through the research and development (R&D) efforts done by BAR.
According to Dr. Alma De Leon from the Department of Food Science and Technology in CLSU’s College of Home Science and Industry, “some of CLSU’s R&D activities supported by DA to improve goat production are the breed improvement through the three-way-cross goats and mutton commercialization.” Now that the supplies of goat’s meat were improved it was only natural to begin building product-based enterprises.
Aside from the development of local goat production Central Luzon, another reason why CLSU ventured into chevon food processing is the increasing awareness of consumers to be more health conscious. When compared to traditional protein sources such as poultry, pork, or beef, goat meat has the lowest total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Chevon also contains higher levels of iron and protein compared to equal portions of other cooked meat.
CLSU’s project developed the following products: Instant chevon papaitan, chevon jerky which they branded as bak-wa, and Instant kapukan. From the recipe, to the business mode, to consumer feedback, to the packaging, CLSU’s project identified and enhanced the production process of the ready-to-eat chevon products.
Earlier on during the study, CLSU conducted a survey in 10 towns within Nueva Ecija through self-administered questionnaires. The survey helped determine the most popular chevon dishes among consumers as well as served relevant baseline information for the university to come up with a marketing strategy. Based on the results of the study, the three most popular dishes were papaitan, kapukan, and caldereta.
Prototypes of these products were then made as part of the undergraduate thesis of the BS in Food Technology students. They used various kitchen recipes in cooking these dishes for the initial formulations and developed specific protocols to stabilize the products. Resulting prototypes were then subjected to consumer testing and the most acceptable ones were used in the pilot production operation of the study.
Instant papaitan is a take-off from the traditional papaitan which is a native delicacy from Northern Luzon. The chevon meat is dehydrated and placed inside a sealed container for longer shelf life that lasts for six months. The spices and seasoning have already been incorporated to the chevon bits and all one needs to do is boil the dehydrated chevon bits for 10 minutes.
Instant kapukan follows a similar concept but the goat’s meat for this particular dish is tenderized and grilled goat’s skin. Kapukan is a salad (ceviche) while papaitan is a stew. Both are sour but papaitan has bitter notes in its taste. Instant kapukan can be conveniently consumed by boiling the dehydrated chevon skin bits for 10 minutes and then drained. After which it is spiked with mixture calamansi and ginger juice, finely chopped dehydrated onions, bell pepper and chili pepper which are also found in the packaging container.
Probably the most unique of the bunch is the chevon jerky or bak-wa. Bak-wa is a Chinese meat snack made up of the ground goat’s meat spiced with salt and chilli, marinated for two days, made flat against a sheet tray, dried and cut to pieces around an inch wide. After drying, staff at CLSU’s food laboratory would coat the flattened chevon first in mango puree before packaging them in vacuum sealed ziplock containers that keep the products fresh for six months. One just has to pop them out and eat the chevon jerky off its packaging, no cooking needed.
CLSU is currently working on developing a fourth instant chevon dish. “We have come up with the prototype of binalot na kalderetang kambing. However, the vacuum packed chevon binalot needs to be packed and sterilized in a food processing facility in Metro Manila. Due to the distance of our University to the food processing facility, the team decided to process vacuum-packed restructured chevon tapa instead,” explained Dr. De Leon.
CLSU, through its Technology Transfer Office headed by Dr. Pablo Rafael, is offering the technology they have developed in processing instant-chevon products to private individuals who are interested in starting a business on chevon products.
As of July of 2018, CLSU has been selling their instant chevon products on campus: at Dairy Box located at the PCC Compound and at U-Mart. Papaitan and kapukan are sold at Php150.00/ 50 gram pack while bak-kwa is being sold at Php 250.00/100 gram pack.
For more information:
Dr. Alma A. De Leon
College of Home Science and Industry
Central Luzon State University
Science City of Muñoz
Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Phone: +63 (044) 456 7212
by Ephraim John J. Gestupa, bar.gov.ph