November 27, 2022

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) introduced 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 pandemic, the FNRI has developed the e-nutribun,” Department of Science and Technology Sec. Fortunato de la Peña said during the virtual launch.

He said the 2020 Rapid Nutrition Assessment Survey conducted by the FNRI showed the pandemic has enormously impacted the nutritional and food security status of Filipinos.

Results showed 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 food insecurity peaked between April and May 2020 during the enhanced community quarantine.

De la Peña said 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.

This will also provide additional income to farmers in the regions; business opportunities to micro, small, and medium enterprises, and multinational companies.

Earlier, the FNRI launched e-nutribun with squash and e-nutribun with carrots. De la Peña 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.

Further, 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 Peña urged technology licensees for the e-nutribun with sweet potato. – PNA