SULU – The province of Sulu celebrated the first-ever “Mangosteen Festival” where each towns featured its own food products derived from the purple fruit.
Sulu is rich is natural resources and among its many agricultural produce is mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana). And this prompted Gov. Toto Tan to embark on a festival which saw various delectable products made from mangosteen – from jam to ice cream and tea and coffee, and even a potent tonic drink.
Different towns participated in the festival – held Tuesday at the Provincial Capitol ground – with their own mangosteen products and among the municipalities which put up their own exhibit booths were Maimbung, Indanan, Talipao, Panglima Estino, Patikul, Parang, Jolo and Luuk. Other exhibitors were Mindanao State University, Red Cross, Kankitap and Sulu Originals.
Tan, who was ecstatic over the successful outcome of the festival, said next year’s event would even be bigger, after the event attracted a huge crowd from different towns and has a potential to become an attraction in Sulu.
“Sulu’s mangosteen is the best because of our fertile lands and the love we exert in maintaining our farms. There is love and dedication, and even during harvest time, everybody is out there and picking ripe mangosteen, and that is why it is the best,” he said, adding, the “festival is a great way to bring opportunities, possibilities and celebrate what is part of our very own landscape.”
Provincial agricultural officer, Mercian Aspi, express optimism that Sulu’s mangosteen and its products would sell well in the market and provide additional livelihood to farmers.
He said they would further hold studies into other health benefits of mangosteen. “Like those popular mangosteen supplements being sold in the market because of its health benefits, we are trying to discover other potentials that can be derived from mangosteen fruit,” he said.
Former Gov. Sakur Tan is also one of the forefront in the promotion of mangosteen products and has encouraged health companies which are into mangosteen supplements to put up production plants in the province to cut high cost of shipping fruit cargoes to Manila or other parts of the country. Sulu’s mangosteen jam is getting good reviews from food and dessert aficionados.
According to the website Organic Facts, health benefits of mangosteen include a reduced risk of cancer, inflammation, allergies, and diabetes.
It has antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties which help in protecting the body against various ailments and also boosts the immune system. Mangosteen is also beneficial in maintaining healthy skin, weight management, and providing relief from diarrhea and dysentery.
The popular website – organicfacts.net – also cited Sulu, saying that mangosteen does not have many varieties, except for the one which is found in the province and its islands. “It seems that the people of Southeast Asia realized the medicinal value that this fruit had a long time ago. Relying on it as a form of treatment for different medical conditions is the reason why scientists have continuously carried out studies and research to confirm these healing allegations. So far the benefits of this fruit have been proven scientifically over the past 3 decades,” it added.
Mangosteen is a healthy fruit, which is rich in water, energy, protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, and manganese are found in this fruit. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, it contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and vitamin A which are required for maintaining good health. Other vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, folic acid, carotene, and cryptoxanthin are also found in it.
The festival, according to Tan, also featured other non-mangosteen food products. (Mindanao Examiner)
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