US-based Filipino chemist to lead creation of CRC in MMSU

A US-based Filipino chemist will lead the establishment of a Carbohydrates Research Center (CRC) at MMSU that will focus on the utilization of farm wastes leading to the production of food and medicine.


Dr. Concepcion  A. Remoroza, researcher and chemist from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the US Department of Commerce said the CRC will also serve as a venue wherein all researches in MMSU will be combined into one so that "we can produce a more desired output."


In an interview with the MMSU Chronicle during the partnership forum held at MMSU Teatro Ilocandia last November 26, Remoroza said she is eyeing for the utilization of bio-ethanol from nipa, which the university has been producing, and expand it gradually to produce something equivalent to animal milk and process it to become dairy products.


"Products produced from the CRC are solely for medicinal and food purposes only," Remoroza said, adding that another ambitious goal is to utilize agricultural wastes and convert them into high-value products for food and medicines."


Situations showed that in Ilocos Norte alone, tons of agricultural residues are left to rot in the field. More often, farmers just burn or convert these into organic fertilizers.


"If this project will be in full swing, these materials can generate substantial income for farmers who may want to join in this program," Remoroza said.


Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients and the most important source of energy for human body. The digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar) and the body uses this sugar for energy for cells, tissues and organs. It also stores extra sugar in the liver and muscles for when it is needed.


Remoroza said once the CRC is established, research on carbohydrates and enzyme chemistry, biochemistry, enzymatic fingerprinting and modification of hydrocolloids and stabilizers, among other research disciplines, can be performed at MMSU.


Along with the establishment of the CRC, Remoroza promised to share her expertise in carbohydrates research and help empower the faculty researchers of MMSU.


Remoroza’s previous work at NIST were focused on biorefinery, prebiotics/probiotics, glycan, glycopeptides and glycolipids from biological serum. 


Her current project is the creation and annotation of mass spectral library of oligosaccharides, glycan, glycopeptides, glycolipids from biological serum.


"Right now, we are drafting proposals for funding from the government. Hopefully, the Department of Science and Technology will give us a building to accommodate the state-of-the-art instruments, including experts who will do the researches," she beamed.


Benefits to stakeholders

Remoroza said the project will surely benefit local stakeholders such as farmers and various industry partners. 


Citing the present MMSU bio-ethanol as a product of carbohydrate research, Remoroza hopes that a successful  technology transfer program of the university will invite industries to use this state-of-the-art research. 


"If this effort will expand, we could invite more strong linkages from agencies in the Philippines and around the world," she said, adding that there would be more employment in the countryside because more people will be involved in the production and collection of raw materials needed in the research."


The Filipino savant hopes that that the basic research at CRC will evolve until it becomes an industry for farmers and those involved in food industry. 


"That is precisely what they are doing in other countries," Remoroza said.