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The pili sorting machine can sort around 25,000 pieces of pili fruit or nuts per hour with guaranteed zero damage to the pili. Image Credit: ACD, DOST-PCAARRD

Bicolano innovations to boost the pili industry and economy

Innovators from various universities and colleges in Bicol shared their latest technology solutions for optimizing the pili industry in the Philippines. This happened during the celebration of the 2023 Pili Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda or Pili FIESTA last December 2023 in Legazpi City, Albay.

Focusing on pili industry solutions, the event allowed technology generators to meet with investors and stakeholders to talk about their design and how they can improve production, operation, and productivity for pili stakeholders.

Developer of the pili nut cracker machine from Bicol University demonstrates the functions of their machines during the technology pitching activity at the Pili FIESTA in Legazpi City, Albay. Image Credit: ACD, DOST-PCAARRD

Among the technologies presented during the activity were automated machines designed to reduce labor and improve product quality in processing pili fruits and nuts.

The pili sorting machine, for example, allows individuals to sort large batches of pili according to their sizes. Engineer Jose Antones of the Bicol University (BU), one of the developers of the machine, shared that sorted pili commands a higher value in the market compared to unsorted bundles. With the development of the sorting machine, Engr. Antones says that individuals will be able to sort pili nuts four times faster compared to manual sorting.

Also presented during the activity was the pili nut cracker machine. One of the most laborious parts of processing pili is cracking its hard shell. However, with the pili nut cracker machine from Bicol University, this process is expected to be much easier, faster, and safer. The machine can automatically remove the hard shell of the pili nut in large batches. The machine boasts an 80% cracking efficiency or 175 nuts per minute. It also keeps the structure of the pili kernel in one piece thus increasing its value.

Inspired by the growing movement for healthy lifestyle, researchers from DA-RFO 5 explored the potential of Pili as a viable raw material for plant-based milk, owing to its favorable nutritional composition. Image Credit: ACD, DOST-PCAARRD

Taking on food technology, also among the featured technologies was the Pili Milk. Developed by the innovators from the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 5, the Pili Milk is the region’s answer to the growing demand for plant-based milk products. Ms. Rosella Formenta, one of the developers of the technology, says that pili milk can provide an alternative option for milk consumers with its promising nutritional composition. A high-calorie and low-carbohydrate drink, pili milk is a good source of energy and dietary minerals.

Ultimately, the pitching activity aims to encourage the business community to invest and bring these new technologies to the market.

Hosted by the Bicol Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (BCAARRD), this Pili FIESTA is presented with the theme “Celebrating Pili: People, Propagation, Processing, and Mechanization.”

FIESTA is among the initiatives of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD). It aims to empower farmers and fisherfolk to improve their livelihood as well as match technology generators to target adopters.

To anyone interested in the pili technologies, BCAARRD is open to any inquiries. Contact BCAARRD’s office at Legazpi City through their email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view or call the number (052) 820 6776.

Similarly, the public can also connect with DOST-PCAARRD in Los Baños, Laguna through their email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or their telephone hotline (632) 8837 1651.