An enterprising couple have put up the country’s first commercial Tilanggit processing plant, currently processing 200 kilos of baby tilapia for the local and export markets.
They are Victor and Susan Mendoza who put up Keño Foods last year in Brgy. Malamig, Bustos, Bulacan. The processing plant is a state-of-the-art facility largely financed with a P14-million interest-free loan from the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF), thanks to the assistance of former Agriculture Sec. Arthur C. Yap and the current Agriculture Secretary Bernie Fondevilla.
The building where the fish are prepared before drying is air-conditioned, tiled, and the working tables and sinks are all made of stainless steel. Inside is a holding tank for the live tilapia and a walk-in chiller where the processed tilapia are placed before they are brought to the Multi-Commodity Solar Tunnel Dryer (MCSTD) developed by the Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension. This is an efficient dryer that uses heat from the sun, drying the fish to seven percent moisture content in seven to eight hours.