ILOILO CITY – The city government of Iloilo is eyeing a partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to produce a nutritious food mix and enhanced nutribun (e-nutribun) for its feeding program.
“We will help in the technical side of the production facility. We will co-share the equipment and then we will transfer the technology to the city government that will produce the products. Initially, we target to produce nutribun, aside from the complementary food of rice, mongo, and sesame mix for malnourished children,” DOST regional director Rowen Gelonga said in an interview on Wednesday.
Gelonga said the complementary food, aside from being cost-effective, has a science-based formulation to address not only hunger but malnutrition.
“We are very glad and excited to partner with Mayor Jerry P. Treñas for this project,” he said, adding that they are now in the drafting stage of technical design of the processing plant and eventually would begin producing the products for the feeding program.
The complementary food of rice, mongo, and sesame mix targets children within the zero to 60 months age bracket, while the enhanced nutribun would be introduced to other age groups.
DOST and the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) launched the reformulated e-nutribun technology, which is rich in protein, enhanced with micro-nutrients, iron, and Vitamin A back in 2020.
The ready-to-eat bread weighs approximately 160 grams and provides 32 percent calories, 59 percent protein, 60 percent iron, and 60 percent Vitamin A of the required energy and nutrient intake (REN) for children, according to DOST data.
Gelonga and Treñas met Tuesday where they also inspected the proposed site of the project at the soon-to-be-completed building of the City Nutrition Council in Gen. Luna Street.
Portions of the building could be converted into a nutrition production facility and a nutrition-related clinic of the city health office.
Treñas, in a media interview on Tuesday, said City Health Officer Dr. Annabelle Tang is now coming up with an estimate of their needed equipment.
“The first few years of kids are important. That's why we will make sure they have sufficient nutrition for the development of their brain,” the mayor said.
The project is expected to start in the first quarter of 2024. (PNA)