Biyernes, Nobyembre 11, 2011


The pili nut (Canarium ovatum Engl.) is endemic in the Philippines; it 'belongs' here (native, indigenous) with Sorsogon as its centre of genetic diversity.
They spread out- and grow in tropical Asia and the Pacific but still they 'feel at home' in Central Philippines with the perfect fertile soil, -temperature and –moisture.
Philippines has the monopoly for pili nuts on the foreign market.
The pili nut of which the taste is a cross between a macadamia nut and an almond, is exported to countries like Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore to be used in deserts for example. Glazed and honey roasted have become a favorite snack.
It has great potential to develop into a major industry (a top export commodity-) for the Philippines since the pili tree grows here native/indigenous. Pili nut trees (Canarium ovatum Engl.) are one of the most typhoon-resistant species.
Already chocolate companies abroad now prefer pilinuts as a substitute for macadamia nuts, which are becoming expensive.
The Philippine Government has made a start in promoting the pili nut and provides information plus planting materials to local farmers because the pili nuts will be ranked soon with the cashew and the macadamia nuts in the world market.
However, high ROI can only be achieved with large-scale plantations under supervision of agricultural experts from universities and by using (at least partial) farm-machinery.
Also we have assistance from a specialist of the Department of Agriculture, a provincial agrarian officer and an agricultural professor at The University of The Eastern Philippines who did 15 years research for the pili nut.
The pili tree is excellent for landscaping, as a windbreak, and for agroforestation; it's roots prevents landslides.
The green pulp can be made into pickle, while the ripe pulp is edible after boiling.
The young shoots and the fruit pulp of pili are edible. The shoots are used in salads, and the pulp is eaten after it is boiled and seasoned. Boiled pili pulp resembles sweet potato in texture; it is considered to have food value similar to avocado.
Pili nuts also contain about 23% oil that may be used for lighting, cooking and in the manufacture of soaps, shampoos, cosmetic, pharmaceutical- and industrial products.
The shell makes an excellent cooking fuel and can be made into attractive ornaments.
The kernel is edible raw, roasted, fried or sugar-coated, and is also used in making cakes, puddings and ice cream.
As timber, the wood is characterized by fine striated grains making it very ideal for the manufacture of high quality furniture, wall panels, carved doors, and other wooden products. The rootstock could also be utilized for wood carvings and tool handles.
The pili nut has a bright future as a commercial crop. Superior varieties, rapid asexual propagation methods and workable production technologies are available now. The nuts keep well, and can be stored for several months.


As in all of life, and particularly in any business venture, there is risk.
However, the developers are taking steps to mitigate their effects.
Disease: Pest control measures are not necessary because the pili tree and its parts are not known to be attacked by any serious pests or diseases. However our on-site farm management team of experts from the University of Eastern Philippines, assisted by experts from the Philippines Department of Agriculture know exactly what to look for and how to treat any problems as soon as they occur.
Crop Insurance: We will be purchasing crop insurance annually.
Typhoons: Tablas Highlands Farm is located on the western side of Tablas Island so it is to an extent protected by not facing directly to the East where most typhoons come from. Further, Tablas is sheltered on the East by Sibuyon Island, and further to the East by Masbate and Northern Samar. Tablas Island does not face to the open Philippine Sea.
More importantly, the Pili nut tree is extremely resistant to severe weather. It is very hardy and has a high rate of survival against inclement weather.

Our Office Manager “B” in Cebu was on a recent business trip to Legaspi, and brought back a kilo or so of freshly shelled pili nuts for Sister. Back in Manila, Sister was worried that U.S. Customs would not look too kindly on fresh nuts being brought into New York, so she decided to cook a pili nut cake (next post) that our mom used to make when we were younger. I have written about pili nuts before, these wonderful, high fat and delicious nuts indigenous to the archipelago and nearby countries.
IMG_1776I have previously written about pili on this blog and if you are interested, you may want to see some unusual photos of fresh pili (picked seconds before from a tree on the farm) with cross-sections, etc., here. Or read this post on fresh pili fruit, the nuts and the shelled nuts. If you were wondering how to remove the pili nut “skins” easily, check out this post.
Peeled pili nuts are used in a variety of sweet delicacies from the Bicol region, a few of them described in this post. I have actually used the nuts in a pili nut brittle that was delicious, particularly after dipping the brittle in dark chocolate… Pili nuts tend to go rancid rather quickly, so it’s difficult to transport them, but I do wish more and more folks would discover this wonderful local nut.

The Pili Nut is a tropical tree, and indiginous to the Philippines, its center of diversity is the Bicol Region, where it's a priority crop, also have spread to the provinces of Catanduanes, Masbate, and Southern Quezon area. The bulk of the raw nuts are supplied from wild stands in the mountain around Sorsogon, Albay, and Camarines Sur, in the Bicol region.
In my province in Sorsogon, the nuts concoction is called "nilanta" similar to "steaming"-- it will be boiled in a lukewarm water for about 10 to 15 minutes, to soften the ripe pulp, when ready removed the black skin and served; you can seasoned it with soy sauce, with  bagoong or kuyog (padas) and siling labuyo (chili), match it with cooked rice, grilled fish, or grilled meat, then you will have an special dinner or lunch time.
Young shoots are edible too, used for cooking and making green salad, the Pili nut kernel is crispy and delicious, emulsion from crushed kedrnels has been used by the natives in early days as substitute for infant's milk. It's used also for making medicinal ointment. Some says, that the nuts is also an "Aprhrodisiac." 
Other uses; resin-rich wood is an excellent firewood, it's good for furniture making, and the oil from the pulp has been used for manufacturing of soap and other products, the hard stoney shell is also an excellent fuel.
Other Pili products, are candies...
Origin: Philippines; abundant and wild in Southern Luzon, and parts of Visayas and Mindanao in low and medium primary forests. 
The Pili nut (Canarium ovatum), one of 600 species in the family Burseraceae, is native to the Philippines and is abundant and wild in southern Luzon, and in parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
Trees of Canarium ovatum are attractive symmetrically shaped evergreens, averaging 20 m tall with resinous wood and resistance to strong wind. C. ovatum is dioecious, with flowers borne on cymose inflorescence at the leaf axils of young shoots. As in papaya and rambutan, functional hermaphrodites exist in pili. Pollination is byinsects. Flowering of pili is frequent and fruits ripen through a prolonged period of time. The ovary contains three locules, each with two ovules, most of the time only one ovule develops (Chandler 1958).
Pili fruit is a drupe, 4 to 7 cm long, 2.3 to 3.8 cm in diameter, and weighs 15.7 to 45.7 g. The skin (exocarp) is smooth, thin, shiny, and turns purplish black when the fruit ripens; the pulp (mesocarp) is fibrous, fleshy, and greenish yellow in color, and the hard shell (endocarp) within protects a normally dicotyledonous embryo. The basalend of the shell (endocarp) is pointed and the apical end is more or less blunt; between the seed and the hard shell (endocarp) is a thin, brownish, fibrous seed coat developed from the inner layer of the endocarp. This thin coat usually adheres tightly to the shell and/or the seed. Much of the kernel weight is made up of the cotyledons, which are about 4.1 to 16.6% of the whole fruit; it is composed of approximately 8% carbohydrate, 11.5 to 13.9% protein, and 70% fat. Kernels from some trees may be bitter, fibrous or have a turpentine odor.

Continue reading at 'Pili Nut' The pride of Bikolanos | NowPublic News Coverage

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