/ 21 October 2021

TO ADDRESS malnutrition, the Department of Science and Technology came out with a new nutribun variants and a program to promote vegetables.

The carrot-variant of Nutribun was introduced in April 2021 by the DOST’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

Last week, the department also launched another variant — with sweet potato as one of the main ingredients.

“Considered as nutritionally adequate crops commonly grown in the Philippines, squash, carrots and sweet potato are fit as ingredients for this technology,” DOST Secretary Fortunato De la Peña said. “This initiative helps address the problem of food insecurity and the need for nutritious food.”

“Malnutrition is considered one of the major problems faced by countries all over the world. As cited by the United Nations development program, around 821 million undernourished people were recorded in 2017,” De La Peña said in a symposium last October 19.

“It is for this reason that the DOST is constantly making actions that would help address this pressing issue,” he added.

Another initiative is the documentation of indigenous vegetables funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development.

The project has documented 145 indigenous vegetables from 20 provinces which can help increase awareness and consumption.

Similarly, DOST-PCAARRD kicked off a project entitled “Development of Smart Food Value Chain Models for Selected Agricultural Products.”

It aims to map and asses the value or supply chains of coffee, carrot, milk fish, native chicken, and strawberry in selected regions.

“Given that the Philippines is an agricultural country, perhaps we can utilize these resources to provide solutions for hunger and malnutrition,” De la Peña said.