Ramon Uy stirring the sugarcane syrup being cooked in a stainless vat.
IN THE PAST and up to now, the technique of muscovado production is often kept secret by the old time makers. When Ramon Uy of Bacolod City tried to get the formula from makers in Antique, they were not given the exact formula. He was told it was just a matter of judging the appearance of the syrup being cooked which could be difficult to determine simply by looking at the syrup sample and observing how it drips down.
RIGHT TEMPERATURE – Through their own scientific research, led by a PhD in food science, Ramon Uy’s team was able to determine that it is best to harvest the syrup for crystalizing when its temperature has reached 120 degrees Celsius. A temperature gauge is used to take the temperature. The resulting muscovado sugar is flowable with fine grains. It is science-based, says Ramon Uy.
MUSCOVADO MAKING MODULE – With their findings, Uy has fabricated a module that will make muscovado production profitable. The processing facility will enable small sugarcane planters to increase their income by making muscovado sugar rather than having their cane harvests milled in the traditional sugar mills.
FARMERS CAN DOUBLE INCOME – Uy explained that one ton of canes milled by the big sugar mills will produce two 50-kg bags of sugar worth P2,800 at current prices. The sugar mill will have a cut of 30 percent so the farmer will end up with a gross income of about P1,960. If you deduct the cost of production per ton of canes, which is about P1,200, the farmer ends up with P760 per ton. If the farmer will make his own muscovado, his profit could be double.
EASY TO OPERATE – William Borca who heads the organic food products unit of RU Foundry says that it is very easy to make muscovado sugar with the facility fabricated by his boss. Fuel is not a problem because the bagasse is used for cooking along with some farm wastes.