Dr. Ofero Caparino, a former member of Board of Directors of the CLSU Alumni Association, Inc. (CLSUAAI) and currently the Chief of the Bioprocess Engineering Division, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization based at the campus of CLSU, recently received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from Washington State University, Pullman, WA. Dr. Caparino’s graduate program at WSU focused in the field of biological and agricultural engineering. His dissertation involved the investigation of using different drying systems in the production of mango powder.
Dr. Caparino completed his graduate studies at WSU’s Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering under the Ford Foundation International Scholarship Program for the first three and one-half years of his studies. His financial grant was also supplemented with additional funds under the graduate research assistantship program given by the Bio & Ag Department of WSU for additional one and one-half years.
Dr. Caparino said that technically he finished his graduate program in June 2012 after defending his dissertation. However, the official graduation ceremony at WSU was May 2012 so he was not able to meet the graduation requirements. In order to join the next graduation exercises, he has to come back on December 2012, which was not a workable option to him. However, with the recommendation of his graduate committee, he was allowed by the Graduate School to march during the May 2012 commencement ceremonies without the formal hooding. According to WSU Graduate School, this is unusual for a Ph.D. candidate to join the ceremonies ahead of his final defense but they were convinced through the recommendation of his committee and in consideration of his other personal concerns. He explained that mango is one of the finest tropical fruits in the world with about 75% of world production coming from Asia. In the Philippines, mango ranks third among fruit crops after banana and pineapple based on export volume and value. However, he added “Huge harvest losses of up to 85% have been experienced due to inadequate preservation technologies and improper handling and storage.” In his research, more stable product such as mango powder was investigated using a more novel technology called Refractor Window® drying and other methods namely freeze drying, drum drying and spray drying and their influence on the physical and microstructures of mango powder.
Dr. Caparino obtained his BS in Agricultural Engineering degree at CLSU in 1985 and MS in Agricultural Engineering focusing on crop drying also at CLSU in 1999 with a graduate thesis entitled “Mango Powder Production by Freeze Drying Process.” Before returning to the Philippines, he presented the result of his research at the International Food Technology Conference in Las Vegas in June 2012. He was planning to join the CLSUIAAI’s 3rd Grand Reunion in Las Vegas in September 2012 but because of scheduling conflict, he as did not have the opportunity to participate.
He and his wife, Editha, have been supporters of CLSUIAAI. In fact, Editha, participated in the association’s 2nd Grand Reunion in Las Vegas in September 2010. Editha visited Dr. Caparino while working on his graduate program at WSU in that year. They are blessed with three children, namely Kathleen Iris, Don Miguel and Ralph Angelo.
Incidentally, Editha is the sister of Engr. Renato Cuizon, the CLSUIAAI Regional Vice President for the Northeast Coast.