There will now be less sun drying of fish products along the roads of Caroan, Gonzaga s the second set of multi-commodity Solar Tunnel Dryer (MCSTD) in the province of Cagayan was installed and inaugurated recently.

Sun drying is one of the most common and traditional methods of food preservation in the Philippines. Although the cost of the process is fairly cheap, sun drying becomes problematic during the rainy season. Also, sun dried products are more prone to microbial contamination due to exposure to wind and dust.

PHilMech bats for the solar tunnel dryer as an appropriate alternative to sun drying and commercial mechanical dryer. A modified type of dryer fabricated by researchers from the Hohenheim University in Germany, the solar tunnel dryer is convenient to use, cheaper, and entails lower operation costs compared with commercial dryers available in the market.

The dryer too is easily installed and maintained, and offers simultaneous, efficient, and hygienic drying of commodities. Food dried using the solar tunnel dryer has longer preservation time because the dryer kills microorganisms .

In January this year, DOST installed the first solar tunnel device in Cagayan at Minanga, Gonzaga.

Led by Gonzaga Mayor Carlito F. Pentecostes and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Director Urdujah A. Tejada, the inauguration of the second set of dryers was participated in by DOST Provincial Director for Cagayan Teresita A. Tabaog, Cagayan State University-Gonzaga CEO Ferdinand C. Oli, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHILMECH) Enterprise Development Division Chief Dr. Helen F. Martinez and Rural Improvement Club President Mrs. Emelia Realica.

Mayor Pentecostes stressed the significance of the dryer in maintaining clean and hygienic products in the market. He mentioned that drying along the roadside will now be strictly prohibited. This is in accordance to the aim of the province to bring back to market the trademark “Gonzaga’s Best”. He has also mentioned that the use of the dryer will greatly benefit the people of Caroan as it will help them dry their fish products quickly and cleanly.

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