Mon, 06 Dec 2021

FNRI introduces sweet potato enhanced nutribun

PNA
15 Oct 2021, 21:31 GMT+10

MANILA- The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) introduced on Friday the enhanced nutribun (e-nutribun) with sweet potato as the main ingredient.

Each serving has 507 calories, 356 mg. of calcium, 17 grams protein, 5 mg. iron, and 612 micrograms of Vitamin A.

FNRI Director Imelda Agdeppa said the new variant is a source of potassium, zinc, protein, energy, and natural fiber.

The FNRI described the sweet potato e-nutribun as having a sweet and milky taste. Weighing approximately 165 grams, each bun is packed in polyethylene plastic and is said to last up to six days at room temperature.

"To help alleviate malnutrition aggravated by the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, the FNRI has developed the e-nutribun," Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Pena said during the virtual launch.

According to de la Pena, the 2020 Rapid Nutrition Assessment Survey (RNAS) conducted by the FNRI showed that the pandemic has enormously impacted the nutritional and food security status of Filipinos.

Results showed that 62 percent of surveyed households reported experiencing moderate to severe food insecurity, and that food insecurity was highest in households with children and those with pregnant women. The survey further disclosed that food insecurity peaked between April and May 2020 during the enhanced community quarantine.

De la Pena noted that sweet potato is one of the most well-known and extensively cultivated root crops in the Philippines, and has antioxidants.

The e-nutribun will help address the nutrient gaps among children through the supplementary feeding programs of the departments of education and social work. Moreover, this will provide additional income to farmers in the regions, and business opportunities to micro, small, and medium enterprises, as well as multinational companies.

Earlier, the FNRI launched e-nutribun with squash and e-nutribun with carrots. De la Pena said their licensees have reached 151 and 101, respectively.

Agdeppa earlier said launching the e-nutribun with carrots was the FNRI's answer to the challenges posed by the limited supply and higher prices of squash in between harvest seasons.

Furthermore, carrots contain nutrients that guard the body against free radicals, which she said are among the causes of infection.

Carrots and squash both contain beta-carotene which, when ingested, will be metabolized into Vitamin A that helps keep the eyes healthy, Agdeppa said.

De la Pena, meanwhile, urged technology licensees for the e-nutribun with sweet potato.

"We count on you, all relevant stakeholders, to scale up support and action," he said. (PNA)

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