From DOST, skincare with a touch of ‘tahong’


Tired of “tahong” for lunch or dinner?

Researchers from the University of Visayas of the Philippines (UPV) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will let you know that these mussels are good not only as food but also for skin care.

In a study titled “Extraction and Utilization of Glycogen from Mussel”, UPV and DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) researchers used food-grade mussel glycogen extracts to develop cosmetic products like cream, ointment and soap.

“The green mussel (Perna viridis) is one of the emerging aquatic products that is poised to contribute to the economic output of the fisheries sector in the country,” said DOST-PCAARRD in a recently published article on its website.

Two other types of shellfish, the black mussel (Mytella strigata) and the brown mussel (Modiolus philippinarum), were also included in the 10 million peso research project.

The team worked on the formulation of the three cosmetic products using food-grade glycogen and laboratory-grade glycogen extracts.

“Lab-grade glycogen has been shown to be effective as a carrier in nucleic acid extraction when used in standard PCR (polymerase chain reaction) techniques,” said DOST-PCAARRD.


Project leader Leni Yap-Dejeto presented her research in a webinar last November, in which she explained that mussels showed potential as sources of bioactive compounds (or antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients). .

Glycogen in cosmetics acts as a moisturizer because it improves hydration and reduces redness and dryness without being greasy, Yap-Dejeto said.

“Some studies show that it stimulates the production of collagen and makes the skin elastic. Since it is easily absorbed by the skin, it acts as a delivery agent for other essential minerals and vitamins,” she said.

In terms of commercialization, a study on the production, organization and management of developed glycogen showed that it was possible to manufacture the products with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 193.95% and a benefit-to- costs (BCR) of 1.70, the DOST-PCAARRD said.

The IRR is the expected growth rate of an investment per year. The BCR shows the relationship between the relative cost and the benefits of the proposed project.

“A value greater than 1.0 will mean a positive net present value,” said the DOST-PCAARRD.

The constant occurrence of harmful algal blooms in Philippine waters, particularly in the Samar region, has displaced fishermen and caused economic losses of up to 250 million pesos, according to the agency.

This is what prompted researchers to explore the other uses of mussels besides food.

READ: Love your skin to avoid mercury-containing skin products – group

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