Feature: "Squashed" pan de sal, anyone?
By Gilda V. Llames
Bataan (13 November) -- Pan de sal with squash, one of the latest food products concocted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), may yet be the answer to the problem of under nutrition and Vitamin A deficiency, especially among school children.
Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) reveal that in 2003, there were 3.18 million and 2.49 million under weight children, zero to five years old and six to 10 years old, respectively.
The FNRI, the government’s principal research arm in food and nutrition, has been continuously undertaking researches to develop recommendations for the improvement of the nutritional status of Filipinos.
Squash enriched pan de sal, one of FNRI’s newest nutritious preparations, is now being fed daily to 250 under nourished Grade I pupils from a public school in Matain, Subic, Zambales, according to Joyce R. Tobias, supervising science research specialist of FNRI.
The 120 days efficacy study of the product in Subic will end in December after which the development of the formerly underweight children will be compared to their present status.
Tobias pointed out in a recent consultative meeting with the Bataan Provincial Nutrition Committee that aside from pan de sal, buns and loaf bread can also be enriched with squash, a Vitamin A-rich vegetable.
The FNRI also came up with nutritious and delicious snacks which are expected to become popular especially among school children—rice and mongo curls and low-calorie ice cream and high-fiber sausage for middle-aged and senior citizens.
According to Tobias, FNRI’s nationwide transfer and commercialization of food technologies will be done through licensing agreement, contract research, consultancy, demonstrations and training.
Interested parties may get in touch with the FNRI at the Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila. (PIA-Bataan) [top]