INFANTA, Pangasinan – A Pangasinan-based salt manufacturing company is now producing over 60,000 kilos of salt a month with the help of the technologies developed by the Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI).
J.M. Salt Manufacturing operational manager Grace Monterola said their family business has been using traditional salt-making until DOST-ITDI technologies and equipment were introduced to them in 2016.
“Nagsimula kami doon sa pugon. Problema kasi namin yung ipa habang tumatagal kasi dumarami gumagamit noon hindi lang sa pag-aasin pati sa paggawa ng fuel kaya tumaas demand. Kaya ang DOST-ITDI gumawa ng pugon na yari sa bricks. Nabawasan ginagamit naming ipa dahil dito. (We started with the kiln or furnace. Our problem was with the rice husk, its demand increases as it is being used not only in salt-making but in the production of fuel. So the DOST-ITDI developed a furnace made of bricks. Because of this, our consumption of rice husk decreased),” she said in an interview on Tuesday.
From 40 sacks of rice husk in their production, it declined to 30 sacks, which Monterolla said made a huge impact on their production cost
“Lahat ng 15 na pugon namin ay gaya na ng ginawa ng DOST-ITDI. (All of our 15 furnaces now are like that of the DOST-ITDI),” she added.
Monterola said the academe, DOST-ITDI, and the Department of Trade and Industry are developing an alternative to the rice husk to be utilized in the furnace.
She said they also received a salt iodizing machine, spinner dryer, and iodine checker.
“Malaking tulong talaga sa amin kaya ang laki ng pasasalamat namin. (These are a huge help to our product that’s why we are very grateful),” she added.
Monterola admitted these technologies and equipment not only boosted their production speed but also enabled their company to be compliant with the Food and Drug Administration.
“Lahat ng ito ay libre basta magagamit talaga ang mga bigay ng DOST-ITDI at sa ngayon kabilang na din ako sa mga consultants para mapataas pa ang produksyon ng pag-aasin sa Pangasinan at sa buong Region 1. (All of these are free as long as these technologies from DOST-ITDI are being used. At present, I am one of the consultants to increase salt-making production in Pangasinan and in the entire Ilocos Region),” she said.
Started in 1990, J.M. Salt Manufacturing is now trading in Isabela, Abra, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Tarlac, and Zambales.
Engr. Oliver Evangelista, senior science research specialist at DOST-ITDI’s Chemical and Energy Division, encouraged salt makers to avail of the technologies or equipment under DOST-ITDI.
“The salt-making machine improves the quality of the salt. The spin dryer dries the salt in 30 minutes. It can process 75 kilos per batch in an hour. The salt iodizing machine is used to apply consistent iodine in the salt,” he said in a separate interview.
He added DOST also offers loans and grants to interested salt-making companies or cooperatives. (PNA)