To inform various stakeholders of the results of research undertakings conducted by Bicol University (BU) faculty members, the BU Research and Development Center (BURDC) organized a conference that allowed the researchers to talk about their studies.
The event dubbed “R&D Dissemination Conference: Life Science and the Convergence of Multiple Disciplines” was held at the Higher Education Regional Research Center amphitheater, BU East Campus on January 25.
According to BURDC Prof. Angelo P. Candelaria, who spearheaded the activity, “This conference is important because we need to disseminate our research results to the community. What good are our studies if potential beneficiaries do not know about them?”
The activity was attended by 28 individuals from within and outside the university. Participants included representatives from the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the local government unit of Legazpi City. Local entrepreneurs from the Leslie Pili Company and Ravago’s Meat Products also joined the conference.
Six studies were presented. Prof. Ida F. H. Revale, Monette P. Belbes, and Xavier Jules Dioneda talked about their research that evaluated the processing protocol for pinangat and tinapa sold in the local markets. They found out that in the production of pinangat, the use of inappropriate utensils and equipment are potential sources of biological, chemical, and physical hazards. Similarly, the unsanitary use of equipment, soaking and cooking time, concentration of solutions, and handling of ingredients for tinapa production showed food safety issues that can be addressed by standardizing the physico-chemical characteristics of the commodity in every stage of production.
In a related study, Prof. Ivane N. Malaluan, Grace Aytona, Jeffrey Peregrino, and Prof. Charmaine A. Malonzo compared the nutrient content of pinangat and tinapa to the Philippine Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intakes (RENI). They discovered that the nutrients in both food products fell within the range of the RENI. However, it was noted that pinangat had a high fat content while tinapa was high in sodium.
Another study on food products was conducted by Profs. Daile Meek C. Salvador-Membreve, Diomerl Edward B. Baldo, and Revale. They fed arrowroot food products, which are rich in dietary fiber, to mice that were previously subjected to a high-cholesterol diet. Results showed that these food products reduced cholesterol and fatty liver in the animals.
One more food product that showed medicinal potential was pili pulp. Profs. Lilibeth A. Cajuday, Jocelyn E. Serrano, and Membreve discovered that pili pulp extract may reduce free radicals, cancer cells, and bacteria in the body.
Prof. Anne Retuerma-Dioneda studied the lambis shells in Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon. She observed that the most common species from the Lambis genus was Lambis lambis. She also saw that females tend to be larger than males and that the spawning period is March-June. She noted that fisherfolks follow the law in gathering only adult shells, but recommended the prohibition of harvesting during the spawning months.
In another study on marine life, Dioneda and colleagues evaluated the ecological and economic status of seagrass beds in the Albay Gulf. They discovered that eight seagrass species were present and that the gulf’s water quality is still conducive to seagrass growth. They also found that seagrass beds contributed to the economic activities in coastal communities. Aside from natural causes, the primary cause of seagrass damage was the use of destructive fishing gears.
To give the audience a chance to interact with the researchers, an open forum followed each presentation.
BURDC Prof. Ida Francia Revale, who was present at the event said, “BU has always recognized the importance of disseminating research results to stakeholders. That is why we regularly hold activities such as this.” (Gremil Alessandro Alcazar Naz, BURDC)