6rtxy0 Pili Nuts and Its UsesThe seeds or kernels of pili (Canarium ovatum) are edible nuts, thus, the words “pili nuts” are derived. However, pili nuts are not just for consumption. Let’s first look at the characteristics of pili as well as its uses.
Pili tree
The pili tree is regarded as an organically grown tree (without any application of chemicals, pesticides, and fungicides for the duration of growth, fruit production, and harvest). The average tree starts bearing fruits six to seven years after planting with an estimated average fruit yield of 1,000-2,000 fruits per tree. However, there are certain varieties that bear flower at three to four years after planting. Pili trees could grow and last for a century.
Pili trees vary much in their fruit-bearing capacity. The poor-bearing trees may produce 500 fruits each or less, and the high-yielding or heavy fruit producers can give 3,000 to 5,000 fruits per season. The older the tree, the more fruits it bears. It is estimated that an average tree produces 33 kilograms of pili nuts in one year.
Pili fruit
The pili fruit is a drupe, 4-7 centimeter long, 2.3-3.8 centimeter in diameter and has a weight of 15.7-45.7 grams. The skin is smooth, thin, shiny, and turns purplish black when the fruit ripens. The pulp is fibrous, fleshy, and greenish yellow with a pointed shape-end hard thick shell. Within the shell is an embryo seed with thin brownish fibrous coating.
Uses of pili
Bicol (Region V) accounts for 82 percent of national pili production, the bulk of which comes from Sorsogon, hence, the province has been dubbed as “commodity champion” for pili.
The processed pili kernel is delicious, thus, it can be used in the preparation of many food products. It is also a source of edible oil of excellent quality for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and for salad dressing. The pulp of pili is used as vegetable, pickle, flour, puree, sauce, and feeds for swine. The shell is used as fuel, growing medium for orchids and anthuriums, and crafted as fashion accessories. The resin is used as lacquer, varnish adhesive, and manila elemi. The trunk is made into furniture and wood panels. With these various uses, there is no doubt that pili is considered a high-value commercial crop.
The Philippines is the only country that produces and processes pili in commercial quantity (Coronel, 1978) and has the monopoly of processed pili in the foreign market. Bicol Region is known for its pili candies and confectioneries which are sold in different product forms and in various packaging containers. These products are exported to Australia, Guam, Canada, Japan, Hongkong, China, UK, Korea, Singapore, Hawaii, Germany, France and the United States.
Because of its high commercial value, the nut is the most important product from the pili. When raw, it may resemble the flavor of roasted pumpkin seed, and when roasted, its mild, nutty flavor and tender crisp texture is superior to that of almond.
Pili nut and the spa industry
The country’s growing spa phenomenon continues to discover ways to natural wellness. One indication is a newly opened spa in Camarines Sur, Bicol, which makes use of the pili fruit in giving a restful experience to “spa-goers.”
Pili nut has good moisturizing properties because of its high moisture content.
One of the pioneers in the Philippine spa industry accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT), “Nurture Spa” opened its branch at the Camarines Sur Water Sports Complex (CWC). This spa chain is known for its use of local ingredients grown from where its branches are located.
Foreign or local personalities who enjoy extreme water sports at the CWC would agree that after having a long, tiring day, revitalizing spa treatments may not just be a luxury but a necessity. This need for a haven of rest in an active environment leads to a bankable niche for Nurture Spa.
“Pili is an excellent antioxidant. It has good moisturizing properties. It is rich in vitamin E. What we do is we crush it to extract its wonderful properties,” stated Cathy Brillantes-Turvill, Nurture Spa’s chief executive officer.
As underscored by the DTI-Bicol, the only known fruit oil of commercial importance in the world market today are olive and palm oils but the pili kernel is another oil source with a big market potential of good use in the manufacture of soaps, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Offered spa menu
In Nurture Spa, pili is explored and used as a component in services such as facials, body scrubs, and body wraps.
The one-hour “El Ray Malumoy Facial” is a natural relaxing facial of honey, pili, and yogurt capped with a soothing mask of cucumber aloe vera and an acupressure facial massage. According to Brillantes-Turvill, it is perfect in softening and moisturizing sun-burned and wind-hissed skin.
Another spa treatment is the one-hour Daraga Pili Polish, an exfoliating pili scrub that removes dead skin, followed by a mini massage using rich moisturizing aloe vera and coco-butter base.
Also introduced is the Magayon Coco Pili Body Cocoon, which is a one-hour nourishing wrap using freshly squeezed virgin coconut milk and mashed pili nuts bursting with vitamins and minerals.
Sustainability of the pili industry
Posing significance in the spa industry, pili nuts definitely have very high export potential. The demand for pili nuts is high but the supply is barely met. This is due to some limitations in the post-production operation and processing.
In this regard, the presence of Bicol Pili Board, Inc. in the region serves as a vehicle to link various key commodity players to ensure the sustainability of the industry. This is supported by the existence of organized pili growers’ and pili processors’ associations which can be tapped to produce and supply fresh, semi-processed, or processed pili nuts. With the unified efforts of the private sectors earlier mentioned and the government, development of state of the art processing equipment such as depulping machine, sheller, and oil extractor and establishment of collection and processing centers in major producing area were realized.
We have known for a fact that pili nuts can be further processed into a variety of already known confectioneries, baked products and other delicacies. On the other hand, its great prospect in the spa industry is relatively “new.” This in turn around means bright opportunity for growers and processors of pili nuts.
Source and Photo: Christmas B. de Guzman -bar.gov.ph/bardigest April-June 2008 Volume 10 Issue No. 2
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Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images
The pili nut is native to the Philippines. It is found on tall evergreen pili trees, also called Canarium Ovatum. The fruit is enclosed in a hard shell which, when ripe, has a thick, dark skin. Although it was used mainly as a garden plant, its health benefits were known to natives of the Philippines. It was not commercially cultivated until recently.

Active Ingredients

The pili nut contains all eight essential amino acids. It contains 302 mg of magnesium which is more magnesium than any other nut. The U.S. Department of Agriculture-recommended amount for men is 400 to 420 mg daily and for women it is 310 to 320 mg daily. The pili nut also contains 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of copper and manganese. It also has a complete protein content, vital electrolytes, essential fats and is rich in minerals, which are important ingredients in maintaining bone and muscle tissue, a healthy heart, and keeping your body functioning at its best.

Traditional Uses

The pili nut is often used in oriental desserts such as a Christmas cake called "bobengka." During the moon festival in the middle of autumn, it is used to prepare the mooncake. It has traditionally been used to treat skin diseases in humans, such as scabies. It is also used to de-worm livestock.

Medical Uses

The amino acids in the pili nut help with healthy blood-sugar levels, muscle-tissue development, production of hormones, regulation of energy, healthy bones and skin, nerve-cell health, detoxification of the liver, and balance in the brain. Magnesium supports healthier nerves, bones and muscle. In addition to healthier skin, the omega fatty acids support immune functions and aid in protection from various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases by helping to prevent cholesterol from turning into plaque. Although its makeup is similar to olive oil, the pili nut has more beta carotene, which makes it more nutritious. It also has a purgative effect, which assists people going through detoxification.


Pili nuts are often ground into a healthier alternative to chocolate. They are also added in banana ice cream, and made into pili butter spread, candy, pili-nut brittle, tarts or chocolate crunch. The tree bark from the pili nut tree is also a source of latex.

Pili Nuts

Native to the Philippines, the pili nut is abundant and grows wild in many southern provinces, including Luzon, Mindanao and Visayas.
When raw, the nut is said by many to resemble the flavor of roasted pumpkin or pepita seeds, and when roasted, the nut's mild, nutty flavor and tender-crispy texture is superior to that of the common almond. A perfect example would be a cross between a macadamia nut and a marcona almond.
Besides from being eaten raw or roasted, they can also used in chocolate, ice cream, candies and baked goods as well.
The largest buyers of these incredible nuts outside of the Philippines are in Hong Kong and Taiwan. There the nut is one of the major ingredients in a famous Chinese dessert known as "moon cake".
Aside from being a treat for your taste buds, it is also a nutritional treat for your body. Nutritionally, the it is high in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, and rich in fats and protein.
Pili nuts are also rich in oil. They yield a light yellow oil consisting mainly of oleic glycerides and palmitic acids (60:40 percent respectively), very similar to olive oil.
Unfortunately, unless you live in the Philippines, the nuts can be extremely hard to find. With the extremely hard shell encasing it, most commercial plantations do not see the value of the nut. Therefore, most of the trees grow wild rather than in plantations, making the harvesting of the nut erratic and limited.
As new breeds are being introduced with easier to access fruit and new devices are invented for the opening of the nut, the future definitely looks bright.
One downside: that wonderful, bountiful, nutritional oil that makes up the nut also causes it to spoil rather quickly. Any nuts found outside of the Philippines would more than likely already be preserved with salt or sugar.



Health Benefits of Almonds | Facts about Almonds

Almonds in concert with other familiar nuts such as walnuts,pistachios and Brazil nuts have been looked for a long time as too fatty to be a wholesome snack. However, sweeping research has shown that nuts in reality assist to lower blood cholesterol levels.

More than 90% of the fats present in almonds in the form of unsaturated, the good oils, and additionally almonds are high in protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, fiber, vitamin E, and other antioxidants.

At the 2005 Experimental Biology conference there was numerous studies were involving the benefits on almonds. The right kind of fats in them; monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated, serve to lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or high-risk cholesterol, while the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol, was left unchanged.

Different studies have shown connections between nut consumption (particularly almonds) and lower risk of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and other chronic maladies. A study released in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that, as part of a diet rich in heart healthy foods such as fiber and plant sterols, almonds can reduce cholesterol levels as much as first generation lipid-lowering medication satin drugs.

Almond trees are believed to have originated in China and Central Asia and they are amongst the earliest in history to be cultivated for food. The almond that we believe of as a nut is technically the seed of the fruit of the sweet almond tree. The tree is of medium-size and bears perfumed pink and white blossoms.

Like its first cousins, the peach, apricot and cherry trees, thealmond tree bears fruits with hard stone-like seeds within. The seed of the almond fruit is what we name as the almond nut.

Luckily for us the fine flavored and variable almond is accessible throughout the year to make a healthy and nutty addition to both sweet and savory dishes. While prepacked almonds are accessible year round, they are the best in mid-summer, which is when they're at the height of their season.

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