Nutribun, the bread product used in the past in the rural feeding programs in the Philippines to respond to the problem of malnutrition among children, is making a comeback in Palawan.
After two decades of disappearance in the Philippine market, the nutribun has now returned with enhancements, vitamin-packed, and yummier, through the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).
In a press statement released Tuesday (March 3) by the Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC)-Palawan, it said the “enhanced nutribun”, or the upgraded version of the 1971 Nutribun, was launched virtually by the DOST-FNRI on July 29, 2020, as an answer to the call of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Memorandum Circular No. 12 Series of 2020, or the Guidelines in the Implementation of the Supplementary Feeding Program During Community Quarantine or Other Similar Emergencies. (DOST-FNRI 2020)
Delivering E-Nutribun to Palaweños
This reformulated bread has now reached the province of Palawan through the initiative of a woman-led bakery situated in Puerto Princesa City, the St. Ives Bakeshop.
Bakery owner Yvonne Gatmaytan said that the adoption of the enhanced nutribun has been of great help to their business, to the farmers where they bought their squash supplies from, and to the helpers they hire in the production.
Gatmaytan added that since the granting of their license as technology adapter in January 2021, they have already baked more than 100,000 pieces of e-nutribun. These nutritious breads have successfully reached most schools in the province as well as the far-flung municipalities of the northern and southern Palawan due to the initiative of DepEd-Palawan to provide nutritious snacks to their students engaged in modular learning.
The roll-out of the e-nutribun is just starting and students from all over Palawan can expect the continuous provision of these healthy buns in the days to come during their modular learning set up and even when the face-to-face classes finally resume.
Gatmaytan also said that she will start producing and distributing e-nutribuns to selected supermarkets in Puerto Princesa by the end of March 2021 as this technology is not only limited to feeding programs but also for public consumption. She realized e-nutribun’s potential based on the feedbacks she received with regards to the product’s acceptability amongst the younger market which describes the product as creamy due to the milk and squash it contains
St. Ives’ plan for the succeeding months is to promote the e-nutribuns to local government units (LGUs) all over Palawan for them to incorporate the bread in their feeding programs in the remote barangays to tighten the fight against malnutrition that is evidently prevalent in the province. They still encounter challenges in their production like how they could cater to the whole province on a short notice.
Gatmaytan said further that the equipment they acquired under the DOST’s SETUP program in 2019 really helped them meet the demand for e-nutribuns which requires production in bulk. Like the delighted children who tasted the e-nutribuns, St. Ives is very thrilled in the return of Nutribun in the Philippines as this does not only bring back childhood memories from the 70s but it can also help children, especially those in marginalized areas of the province, who fall under the bracket of malnutrition.
Gatmaytan, as the first licensed adopter of E-Nutribun in the province, is ever thankful and happy for the positive response they get from Palaweños they served.
“Maraming salamat sa DOST-FNRI kung saan ibinahagi nila sa amin kung paano magproduce nitong napaka-sustansyang enhanced nutribun at kami ang naging unang licensed adoptor nito sa buong Palawan. Dahil din sa nutribun na ito magkakaroon na ng tamang nutrition ang mga bata sa Palawan kahit sa simpleng tinapay lamang at isa pang importante ay nabigyan namin ng trabaho ang isang community sa amin,” Gatmaytan said.
Why is it called Enhanced Nutribun?
Same as the nutribun released in 1971 to 1997, the e-nutribuns have certain enhancements that is adapted to the nutritional needs of today’s children such as more micronutrients like Vitamin A and Iron. The texture is formulated to be softer and weighs 160-165 grams per piece making it easier for children to hold and bite.
Each serving of Enhanced Nutribun weighing 160-165 grams per piece, has 504 calories, 17.8 grams protein, 6.08 milligrams iron and 244 micrograms vitamin A. (DOST-FNRI 2020)
Today’s Food Problems and Solutions
The government is trying its best to provide solutions to modern food problems while being challenged by the pandemic that we are currently in.
On the launch of the e-nutribuns, Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles also said that: “With the COVID-19 pandemic, it has made things even more complicated. And with all these challenges brought about by COVID-19, the government must do all that we can by stretching our limited resources. With these challenges, we need to turn to maximizing science and technology to fill these nutrient gaps and better provide Filipino children with a healthy food that they need to survive and to thrive.”
“The nutribun is an example of a science-driven solution that the government is pursuing to address hunger and malnutrition. The e-nutribuns developed by DOST-FNRI is more delicious, more nutritious, havebetter texture, made mainly from squash for better taste, and enriched with protein, iron and vitamin A among others,” Nograles further said.
Having science-driven solutions to modern problems is indeed a wise move of the government which needs support from every Filipinos. The Enhanced Nutribun is only one of the food technologies that could help us eliminate malnutrition. In fact, if you browse the website of DOST-FNRI, you could find dozens of food technologies that could help us overcome malnutrition amongst children such as snack items intentionally served for babies especially the picky eaters.
Be one of the technology adopters of DOST-FNRI
Interested technology adopters of Enhanced Nutribun and other Complementary Foods may contact DOST FNRI using the contact details below.
For more information on Enhanced Nutribun, contact: Mr. Alexis M. Ortiz, DOST-FNRI Supervising Science Research Specialist, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telephone/Fax nos: 8837-2934; Direct Line: 8839-1839; DOST Trunk Line: 8837-2071 local 2296 or 2284; email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com at; DOST-FNRI Website: http://www.fnri. dost.gov.ph. Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/DOST-FNRI and follow our Twitter and Instagram accounts at twitter. com/DOST_FNRI and Instagram.com/fnri. dost.