BOAC, MARINDUQUE, September 3, 2003 (STAR) A slimming, "niyoghurt" as a nourishing and slimming beverage.

This coconut milk-based ‘health drink’ is the product of a study done by researcher Virginia Sotto of the Marinduque State College (MSC) in Boac town.

The research, titled "Acceptability of ‘niyoghurt’ as a Nourishing and Slimming Beverage", won second prize in the 16th regional symposium on R&D highlights of the Southern Tagalog Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (STARRDEC) held last Aug. 15 in Los Baños, Laguna.

STARRDEC is one of the 14 government regional R&D consortia coordinated by the Los Baños-based Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD).

The MSC study aimed to develop "niyoghurt" as a nourishing and slimming beverage using flavorings such as pandan, pineapple, vanilla, and calamansi.

It also evaluated "niyoghurt’s" acceptability when compared with commercial yoghurt. (Yoghurt or yogurt is a fermented slightly acid semisolid food made of whole and skimmed cow’s milk and milk solids to which cultures of two bacteria – Lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus – have been added.)

Four series were made using a variety of flavors.

Sotto reported that in terms of general acceptability, niyoghurt with pandan flavor and with pineapple were rated "excellent", while those flavored with vanilla and calamansi were graded "good".

For texture, pandan-flavored niyoghurt got a perfect (Excellent) rating from the evaluators. The calamansi-flavored was rated "fair". – Rudy A. Fernandez

Gumamela hybrid named after Vilma Santos The Philippine STAR 08/31/2003

LIPA CITY – Say it with flowers.

Thus did the University of the Philippines Los Baños Institute of Plant Breeding as it honored last Aug. 25 veteran actress and currently Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos by naming a gumamela hybrid it has bred after Philippine moviedom’s "Star for All Seasons".

Occasion was a program and a flower and garden show that ushered in the week-long 56th Foundation Day celebration of this bustling city in Batangas.

The gumamela hybrid bred by UPLB-IPB plant breeder Reynold Pimentel was named "Hibiscus rosasinensis Star for All Seasons" in honor of "Mayor Vi". Hibiscus rosasinensis is the scientific name of gumamela.

The plant’s flower is lavender mauve. "Star for All Seasons is a prolific bloomer, with medium semi-double quilted blooms.

In her acceptance speech, the petite, multi-awarded actress, in jest, cited the plant’s "semi-dwarf" character, and profusely thanked UP Los Baños for honoring her through a beautiful flowering plant.

UPLB College of Agriculture dean Dr. Candida Adalla, who presented the plant together with Pimentel to the actress-mayor, said "Hibiscus rosasinensis Star for All Seasons" is the first of the "Celebrity Star Series" to be launched by UPLB.

The gumamela series honors "veteran and accomplished Filipina actresses," said Dr. Adalla, the first woman to become dean of UPLB-CA since it was founded in 1909.

The "Celebrrity Star Series" is the third batch of gumamelas released by UPLB since it began its Hibiscus breeding program in 1994.

The plants that composed the first batch, dubbed Centennial Series, were named after Filipino heroines who dedicated their lives to the country’s freedom from Spanish and American rules. The Centennial Series was launched during the Philippine Centennial celebration in 1998.

The Millennium Series, launched in 2000, composed the second batch of Hibiscus hybrids, which served as a tribute to Filipino woman-scientists who have considerably contributed to the advancement of Philippine agriculture. – Rudy A. Fernandez

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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