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SPAOH, Oct 7: Local co-operative Koperasi Apong Saribas Berhad is preparing to produce nipah palm-based honey and vinegar.
According to its spokesman Rasli Muslimen, the company has acquired a building at the Spaoh Agriculture Station for its factory operations which Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas had permitted.
Rasli, a local from Spaoh, is also a senior lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Faculty of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).
He revealed that the co-operative is collaborating with the university’s Apong Research Group (ARG) in the production.
“We are funded by Unimas, Teraju (a strategic unit under the Prime Minister’s Department) and the Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Development for the two projects.
“The Borneo Apong Honey and Borneo Apong Vinegar are among the products. The idea is to help the local Iban and Malay communities and others here to generate income to raise their living standard,” he explained.
Rasli pointed out that ARG had developed and patented a hybrid digital control cooking stove to process the raw Apong sap into honey.
“We will need about six months to prepare including upgrading our premises at the Spaoh Agriculture Station.
“We need to follow the MeSTI (Makanan Selamat Tanggungjawab Industri) standard besides the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) as well as the halal certifications for our production.
“We will begin production after doing and acquiring all these,” he added.
Rasli shared that although Gula Apong or Apong sugar was produced traditionally and using wood for fire, the hygiene aspect was a major issue.
“Our production will be high-tech where the quality and hygiene aspects will be much better.
“As I have mentioned, our cooking stove will be digitally controlled,” he said.
Among others, Rasli added that the Apong honey would be a good substitute for sugar while the Apong vinegar could be used in food preparation. — DayakDaily