What comes in your mind when I speak of Laguna? I am talking about the province and not the popular song of Asin. Every time I heard about the province name, I always recall the yummy buko pie. I always buy some whenever I am in buko pie producing province.
Laguna is well known for its buko pie delicacy. Trip to province is not complete without it. Other provinces started to produce buko pie but for me, buko pies from Laguna are still the best.
Buko Pie is an excellent pasalubong and often exported to neighboring countries but the very limited shelf life is a major constraint. The product last approximately for about two to three days only because young coconut is prone to microbial spoilage and rancidity.
There are two improvements that are implemented in attempt to extend buko pie’s shelf life.
The first innovator packed his produce in vacuum plastic. The technique enable shelf life extension of up to two weeks. Sending of commodities abroad in small batches became possible provided that conditions are favorable.
But, two weeks shelf life might not be enough. Time for distribution is still limited, suitable only for expensive and low quantity air transport. At least three-months ship transport is not possible, products will be spoiled before reaching the destination.
The second innovator then used blast freezing to extend shelf life. In blast freezing, the product is exposed to very low temperature to freeze it as quickly as possible. Blast / quick freezing is done to prevent water crystal formation that will render product damage after thawing. Quick frozen product shelf life is one year and over and will remain in good condition unless thawed. The process enable the manufacturer to export buko pie to Europe, Japan and United States.
According to our seminar lecturer, the first manufacturer to do blast freezing is Lety’s Buko Pie. I am thinking that the first and second innovator is a single person.
image courtesy of martin sordilla