The DTI Regional Office 5 recently spearheaded a delegation at the 12th Food and Beverage Fair in Singapore Expo to showcase the region’s special delicacy – the Pili Nut. Leslie Pili Products, Noveno’s Pilinut Candies, The R.A.I.N.S. Delicacies, Tia Berning Pili Candies, Antes Enterprises, Espeña Eco Farm Enterprises and herbal drink brand YML Health Food Products joined hundreds of food exhibitors from Singapore, Asia and other parts of the world.
The Philippines is the only country capable of the commercial production and processing of the Pili Nut and the government steadily supports the Pili industry to meet the rising worldwide demand for innovative, new flavors and tastes.
The Pili Tree can be spotted in bushes across tropical Asia and other Pacific islands, but the ones grown in the Bicol Peninsula, southeastern end of the Philippine island of Luzon, are acknowledged as the best-tasting. Home to at least five active volcanoes, one of which is the perfect-coned and world-admired Mayon Volcano, Bicol’s land is a fertile mix of volcanic soil and generous rainfall. The pulp of the Pili fruit is eaten as a vegetable. The Pili Nut has the flavor of pumpkin seed when raw, and takes on an entirely different identity when roasted.
So what makes the Pili nut a premium nut? It is not genetically modified, naturally-grown, gluten-free, zero-gram trans fat, low-calorie, and cholesterol-free. It can even compete with almond and macadamia in texture, taste and extracted micro-nutrient yield. The product now comes in honey cinnamon, sugar glaze, salted, roasted, sea salt, chili garlic, hot chili and turmeric flavors.
The Philippine Trade & Investment Centre in Singapore also lent its support to the group by arranging discussions with potential importers, including a halal product distributor. Various Pili producers and other Bicol food companies are set to undergo halal certification within the year.
The visiting group with PTIC-Singapore Commercial Counsellor Glenn Peñaranda (third from right) and My Outlets Global Halal Hub Director Malek Mattar (extreme right)