BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Food, Nutrition and Research Institute (FNRI) enhanced nutribun (e-nutribun) that will soon be in food packs and relief items will not only address malnutrition but also help small bakers earn with government as a sure market.
"The DepEd-CAR (Department of Education-Cordillera Administrative Region) is considering it in their feeding program and we are also asking the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) to include the (e-)nutribun,” Dr. Nancy Bantog, DOST regional director, said on Wednesday.
Bantog said the DOST-FNRI came up with the reformulated, more micronutrient-packed, soft texture nutribun that is appealing to the palate that even children will love to eat.
She said there are also new variants like squash, carrot, and soon the malunggay, that would address the Vitamin A and iron deficiency among Filipinos. The potato variant is currently being studied by the FNRI.
The e-nutribun is the government's response to malnutrition especially among children in calamity-stricken areas and those housed in evacuation centers.
Bantog said they are also promoting the product to the local government units especially with several bakeshops adopting the product as a regular item to sell.
"This will give nutrients while also helping the bakery adopters earn, giving them sure market to their product," she said.
Bantog said the nutribun was used from 1970 to the 1990s for the school feeding program of the government.
The e-nutribun has more micronutrients like iron and Vitamin A. The texture is softer and weighs 160 to 165 grams per piece.
Each serving of the e-nutribun has 504 calories, 17.8 grams of protein, 6.08 mg iron, and 244 microgram Vitamin A.
She said several bakeshops, most of them in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have adopted the technology and have expressed willingness to provide the supply needed to attain the government’s goal of providing nutrition.
Dr. Donna Aldana of Danes Bakeshop said they adopted the e-nutribun as part of the healthy food items of their establishment.
“Ngayon kasi marami na ang nahihilig at bumibili ng mga healthy items kaya naisipan namin na isama ito sa products ng pwesto (there are now many people who buy healthy food which made us decide to include this in our items for sale),” she said.
She said they produce about 300 pieces of carrot and squash varieties of nutribuns per day.
FNRI Director Dr. Imelda Angela Agdeppa, during the launch of the e-nutribun in September, said the reformulated bread was developed as the government's response in addressing hunger and malnutrition amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said countering the nutritional problem will make people more productive aside from curbing hunger and malnutrition.
She said the government continues to develop nutritious products as part of the “Science for the People” program of the DOST and a banner program of the government that provides economic opportunities for entrepreneurs while addressing nutrition issues. (PNA)