Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) regional units at Mindanao are set to conduct a study on product development targeting carabao-based products to be certified as Halal.
PCC at Central Mindanao University director Dr. Lowell Paraguas explained during the inception meeting last August 30 the need of producing carabao-based products that are certified as Halal, which indicates that its preparation adheres to Islamic law as described in the Koran.
The 36-month project with proposed Php 670,900 initial fund is headed by Dr. Paraguas and will be supported by PCC at University of Southern Mindanao (USM), and Ms. Jane Tranquilan of Mindanao State University who will act as a Halal product consultant.
According to Tranquilan, the plan of the study is to acquire 24-40 heads of carabaos coming from the PCC institutional herds only and it will be divided into four controlled conditions.
“Meat quality testing will also follow standard operations procedure for Halal,” Tranquilan said. “A minimum of 6-10 carabaos will be slaughtered after 18 months, and three more batches to follow for ages 24, 30, and 36 months.”
All materials required for the project will be settled by April 2017 based on the study’s rationale.
Tranquilan mentioned molasses, soybean, copra and other organics which will be used as feeds for the controlled animals.
However, as a member of the previous team who worked on testing carabeef quality, PCC acting executive director Dr. Arnel del Barrio proposed changes in the methodology of the study particularly on reducing the cost of the project.
“Slaughtering the animals after 18 months is too early,” Dr. Del Barrio said. “The meat is very tender, 24-month old buffalo is a good one to start, and we can lessen the number of animals, also the overall cost of the project.”
Dr. Del Barrio also encouraged PCC at USM center director Dr. Benjamin Basilio to allot carabaos for the Halal development project to create multi-location trial.