• Dr. Susana Mercado receives the Likha Award for 1st place in Outstanding Creative Research category during the 2012 National Invention Contest from DOST Usec Fortunato dela Peña, DOST-TAPI Director Edgar Garcia and IPO Director IV Ms. Carmen Peralta

  • Thirteen REPS from UPLB were recently conferred the title of "Scientist" by the DOST Scientific Career System last July 19.(Photo and article courtesy of OVCRE)

The BIOTECH Building, which was initially called the Ferdinand E. Marcos Center for Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology, is located inside the 77.7 hectare Agricultural and Life Sciences Complex at UP Los Baños
BIOTECH staff and officials celebrate the 2016 UPLB Loyalty Day in full force
BIOTECH products are cost-effective and cheaper alternatives to conventional products, making use of locally available materials which are safer to the environment
Dr. Alcantara has contributed significantly to the implementation of a proactive approach to insect resistance management for transgenic maize in the Philippines.
Dr. Aggangan has contributed significantly to researches on mycorrhizal fungi as an alternative to chemical fertilizers for reforestation species; development and commercialization of MYKOVAM.
Delegates from Edu-Connect for Life and For All (Edu- Connect Southeast Asia Association) of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan visited paid a visit to BIOTECH on August 29, 2017

  

BIOTECH News

BIOTECH wins 2012 Likha Award

by  Alex Castillo and Florante Cruz   (Published in: UPLB in the News)

 

Likha award

 

UPLB BIOTECH’s entry “Microbial Rennet for Cheese Making” won First Place in the Outstanding Creative Research (Likha Award) category of the 2012 National Invention Contest and Exhibits (NICE). Dr. Susana Mercado, the sole inventor of this technology, took home a glass plaque and a P50,000 cash prize during the awarding ceremonies held last July 14, 2012 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.


“Rennet, basically, is a milk coagulant,” Dr. Mercado explained when asked about the science behind her invention. Rennet is a complex of chymosin, proteases and other enzymes that is produced by mammals in their stomachs. The enzymes in the rennet can coagulate milk, separating it to curd and whey, and thus used in cheese making.


 “The most recommended rennet is those sourced from the stomach of cows, carabaos, goats, and sheep,” she added. Getting rennet from these animals however means that they have to be slaughtered at a very young age.

What makes BIOTECH’s rennet unique is that it is produced from the common bread mold, Rhizopus chinensis, making it a better alternative since fewer cows and carabaos will be killed just to get the rennet from their stomachs. BIOTECH’s microbial rennet has almost similar characteristics and efficacy as that of animal rennet.

Microbial rennet is, of course, more economical since it is much cheaper than commercially-sourced rennet. “We are now able to produce our own high quality, calcium-rich cheese using microbial rennet,” noted Dr. Mercado.

When Dr. Mercado started her research on microbial rennet, her primary goal was to help the cheese-makers from her hometown-- Santa Cruz in Laguna. The cheese-makers rejected her technology at first but she did not stop until they realized the potential of her discovery. She is now training them in creating different high-value types of cheese that would give them higher income. 

Dr. Mercado’s discovery has also stirred up the interest of local and foreign cheese producers of cheese. BIOTECH is now scaling up its production to meet the increasing demand of microbial rennet. “We estimate that production would increase from 20 to 300 liters per month within the year,” Dr. Mercado said.

The “Microbial Rennet for Cheese Making” technology is a result of Dr. Mercado’s doctoral dissertation in 1994. After years of trial and development, she has now perfected the product and made the rennet available in both liquid and granulated forms. Both have the same efficiency, but the granulated form has a longer shelf life which makes it suitable for long-distance and international delivery.

Dr. Mercado is currently applying for a patent and a trade name for the microbial rennet in preparation for its commercialization.

The National Invention Contest and Exhibition awarding ceremonies was the culmination of the National Science and Technology Week celebration spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology.

 

 

National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIbiotech logoTECH)

University of the Philippines Los Baños

College, Laguna 403l, Philippines

Tel. Nos. 536-1620, 536-2721, 536-2725; Fax No. (049) 536-2721

Email: biotechdo.uplb@gmail.com, biotech@uplb.edu.ph

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