Saba is staking its claim as PH top banana
Bananas, which continue to be a top dollar earner for the Philippine agricultural export industry, will be highlighted in this year’s Foodex Japan, Asia’s largest annual food and beverage trade show.
The international trade exhibition is scheduled to run from March 8 to 11 at the Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan.
Rosvi C. Gaetos, executive director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), said exports of Cavendish bananas reached $1.13 million in 2014, up 18.06 percent year on year.
Aside from the Cavendish, the Philippine cardaba or saba is getting global market attention as it is being used in the production of high-quality banana chips.
The saba can also be processed into flour, flakes, ketchup, wine, and vinegar.
Gaetos said the Philippines could “take advantage of the high demand for saba, especially since the country is the sole producer in large quantities.”
Nurtured by a great tropical climate, Philippine bananas are considered one of the best in the world and one of the healthiest fruits to eat.
According to nutritionist Michael Van Straten, author of The Healthy Food Directory, bananas are very healthy because it can alleviate 14 medical conditions such as heartburn, diarrhea, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, menstrual problems, kidney problems, fluid retention, and circulatory problems.
Bananas also have high potassium and fiber content. A single, medium sized banana contains around 3.1 grams of dietary fiber that keeps the digestive system healthy, prevents colon cancer, and helps lower bad cholesterol.
They are a good source of magnesium, and vitamins C and B6, which help protect against type II diabetes. They help sustain blood sugar levels during workouts and aid in overcoming depression.
Foodex Japan is seen to open up bigger opportunities for the Philippines’ food export industry.
It boasts of having conducted over 800 pre-arranged business meetings, with 86 percent of its buyers and visitors involved in decision-making, in its four-day run.