DOST facility targets malnutrition


The Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) has launched a complementary food production facility in Antique to help fight the high incidence of malnutrition in the province and the region.

A worker operating a machine to produce rice mongo crunchies, a “complementary food.” DOST PHOTO

A collaborative project of the DOST-FNRI and the Univesity of Antique, the facility is intended to develop science-based interventions to address the malnutrition problem. Its initial product will be a ready-to-cook complementary food blend branded as Morise (mongo-rice-sesame).

“Fighting malnutrition does not need to be expensive. It can be solved by using the proper technology in a cost-effective manner,” DOST VI Regional Director Rowen Gelonga commented about the project.

The University of Antique was one of the pilot sites for a complementary food project under the Package for Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children (PINOY) program of the DOST from 2013. The project sought to implement a feeding program for malnourished children aged 6 to 35 months using complementary food technology developed by the DOST-FNRI.

Complementary foods are considered a “jump start” to the household diets of infants and very young children, and a study of the outcomes of the PINOY program showed significant improvement in their nutritional status.

In 2013 and 2015, DOST-FNRI provided equipment for the production of rice mongo crunchies, rice mongo curls, and rice mongo instant baby food blend. Since the full implementation of the feeding program in 2013, the university has catered to the feeding requirements of the local government units of Antique, Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo.


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