There is Profit in Vegetable Processing

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In episode 24 of our ‘AgriStoryahay sa ATI’ webinar series, food technologist Phoebe L. Galeon shared and showed us that when a vegetable is in season and in abundance, processing is a logical step to make such farm goods commercially viable.

When vegetables are at farm gate price and readily accessible, they are expected to be affordable. A surplus of it sometimes spells disaster for our farmer friends since some of them cannot keep up marketing and selling which a lot of their goods would end up as waste.

Processing is important to produce products for direct consumption and as food ingredients. As demonstrated in her Ready to Use (RTU) Squash Pulp which is a pre-processed squash (kalabasa), Ms. Galeon made sure that the squash is not overcooked (steamed only for 10 minutes) to retain essential nutrients and vitamins. She recommended that vegetables should not be overcooked to suit best for other applications and cooking requirements.

During processing, the main objectives are to preserve the color, flavor, texture, and nutrition while prolonging the shelf life of perishable fruits and vegetables. There are also other techniques in processing vegetables like blanching, dehydrating, canning, freezing, fermenting and pickling. All of which share the same goal which is to deter microbial spoilage and natural physiological deterioration of the plant cells.

The method one would choose depends on what one hopes to do with the food when it comes time to eat it. The most practical method of processing vegetable is freezing. Freezing is a widely known and applied preservation process of various food which offers the advantage of producing high-quality nutritious foods with prolonged shelf life.

Here are the vegetable processing recipes, procedure and estimated selling price shared by Ms. Phoebe L. Galeon of USTP’s Food Technology Department:

Frozen Ready to Use (RTU) Squash Pulp

Whole Squash
Polypropylene bags

Paring knife
Slicing knife
Chopping board
Tongs and Ladles
Stove for cooking

1. Wash thoroughly squash with dilute dishwashing soap.
2. Cut open squash with slicing knife and remove peel with paring knife.
3. Slice squash further into big square approximately 3 by 3 inches.
4. Allow water to boil in steamer.
5. Arrange squash slices in steamer and steam for 15 minutes.
6. Turn heat off and allow squash to cool.
7. When cooled arrange squash approximately by 500 g weight or 2 cups per bag.
8. Seal bags and freeze, squash pulp is now ready to use for various applications.

Estimated selling price per 500 g pack = Php28.00

Squash Lumpia (Shanghai style)


500 grams/ 2 cups RTU Squash Pulp
1 pc large egg
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp soy sauce
½ clove garlic
1 medium sized onion bulb
1 tbs pepper
1 pack small size lumpia wrapper
250 mL oil for frying


Measuring cups and spoons
Slicing knife
Chopping board
Medium sized carajay
Stove for cooking


1. Remove from freezer and thaw RTU squash pulp.
2. Measure out 2 cups or approximately 500 grams and place in a bowl.
3. Mince garlic and onions and place in the bowl together with RTU squash pulp.
4. Add egg, flour, salt, soy sauce and pepper and mix thoroughly.
5. Put a full tablespoon into lumpia wrapper and roll longitudinally. Seal wrapper by weating with water.
6. Heat oil in carajay and fry lumpia until golden brown.
7. Serve while hot.

Estimated selling price per piece = Php3.00

Squash Flan

2 cups RTU squash pulp
3 large eggs
1 big can condensed milk
½ cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract/flavoring
¼ kilo brown sugar

Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Mixing bowl
Wire whisk
Rubber scraper
5 pieces Llanera
Stove for cooking

1. Put 2 tbs of brown sugar and 1 tbs of water into each llanera, caramelize sugar in direct flame. Allow syrup to cool and harden.
2. Mix RTU squash pulp, eggs, milk, water and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
3. Pour mixture into a llanera through a strainer.
4. Steam for 20 minutes.
5. Cool and serve.

Estimated selling price per flan = Php40.00

Squash Halaya

3 cups RTU Squash Pulp
½ cup condensed milk
¼ cup butter
¼ tsp salt
2 glass bottles

Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Mixing bowl
Stove for cooking

1. Sterilize glass bottles and metal caps by steaming for 5 minutes then drain, cool and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl mix all ingredients.
3. Transfer mixture into a carajay and cook until consistency is very thick and heavy.
4. Hot fill squash halaya mixture into sterilized bottles and half seal.
5. Steam filled bottles for at least 15 minutes then full seal.
6. Allow product to cool.

Recipes for Sayote

Filipino Style Sayote Kimchi

1 kilo sayote
10 pcs onion leaves
3 tbsp. Glutinous rice powder
2 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ water for sauce
1 clove garlic
1 big bulb of onion
2 tbsp ginger
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 cup Korean chili powder
¼ cup roasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp. salt
Plastic tubs for packaging

Measuring cups and spoons
Chopping board
Paring and slicing knife
Mixing Bowl
Peller or chipper
Small casserole
Ladle and spoons
Stove for cooking

1. Peel and slice sayote thinly, add salt and allow to water for at least 15 minutes. Then wash with water 3 times and allow to drain in the colander. Set aside.
2. Cook 3 tbsp glutinous rice flour, 2 tbsp sugar and 1 ½ cups water until thick in consistency, cool the set aside.
3. Peel and slice garlic, onion bulb and ginger and put into the blender.
4. Pulse the blender initially until spices are cut and minced.
5. Add the rice and sugar paste and blend until smooth.
6. Add soy sauce, olive oil and Korean chili powder and blend until thoroughly homogenized.
7. Add sauce into sliced sayote and mix well. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and sliced onion leaves and mix well.
8. Place into clean plastic tubs, cover and refrigerate for fermentation to occur.
9. Maybe eaten after mixing or after a day of fermentation in refrigerated conditions.

Estimated selling price per tub = Php40.00

Bottled Sayote Pickles

1 kilo sayote
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 bulb onion
¼ cup ginger
1 tsbp garlic
1 tsp. black pepper
4 glass bottles

Measuring cups and spoons
Chopping board
Paring and Slicing knife
Big casserole
Cooking stove

1. Sterilize bottle by steaming for 5 minutes, drain, cool then set aside.
2. Peel, slice and grate sayote.
3. Mix vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices in a black casserole.
4. Boil the solution until all ingredients are dissolved.
5. Add the grated sayote and allow to boil then turn off heat.
6. Hot fill sayote into bottles and half seal.
7. Exhaust bottles for 15 minutes in a steamer.
8. Turn off heat remove bottles and full seal.
9. Cool bottles and store in a cool dry place.

Estimated selling price per bottle = Php50.00

For the processing and cooking session, here’s the link to the full video:

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.