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DOST launches plant-based food products to fight malnutrition


By Dhel Nazario

Filipinos who are nutritionally at-risk can soon benefit from food products recently introduced by the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) that will aid in fighting malnutrition.

(DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute / MANILA BULLETIN)

(DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute / MANILA BULLETIN)

The agency unveiled the products at the grand launch of “2020: Perfect Vision for Nutrition” in Makati City. The new food products include the Enhanced Micronutrient Growth Mix (MGM 15), Multi-Nutrient Extruded Rice Kernel (MNERK), Rice-Mongo Blend with Vegetables, and Rice-Mongo Curls with Vegetable and Extruded Sweet Potato Fries.

The Enhanced MGM is a powdered fortificant in a two-gram sachet added to cooked food that contains 15 essential vitamins and minerals to help boost the physical and mental development of children six months to five years old.

MGM 15 is a practical and easy way of providing nutrients in events where ingredients for preparing a nutritionally-adequate meals are scarce, unavailable, expensive, or there is no time to source them such as in evacuation centers, feeding programs, as well as at home.

Another food product introduced is the MNERK for women of reproductive age (WRA), a nutritionally vulnerable population group.

Made from rice blended with extruded multi-nutrient kernel, MNERK is fortified with vitamins A, B1 or thiamine, B2 or riboflavin, and B9 or folate, plus zinc and iron that are especially needed by the mother and growing baby during pregnancy and lactation.

Six months after the recommended exclusive breastfeeding, the DOST-FNRI recommends the Rice-Mongo Blend with Vegetables as complementary food for young children six months to three years old and the Rice-Mongo Curls with Vegetables as nutritious alternative snacks for older kids, teens, and adults alike.

The whole family will enjoy the Extruded Sweet Potato or Kamote Fries, another nutritious alternative to the well-loved French fries that also debuted during the launch.

The new nutritious food products were adopted for commercialization by the Nutridense Food Manufacturing Corporation of Santa Barbara, Pangasinan, which already markets several FNRI food technologies.

Present at the launching of the nutritious food products were DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, DOST-FNRI Director Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, DOST-FNRI Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Deputy Director and Chief Science Research Specialist Engr. Rosemarie G. Garcia, and Mr. Racky D. Doctor and Mrs. Divine C. Doctor, president and finance manager, respectively, of Nutridense Food Manufacturing Corporation.

The FNRI is proactively scouting for interested entrepreneurs to be their partners in fighting malnutrition by adopting nutritious and innovative food technologies.

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