December 6, 2022

STA. MARCELA, Apayao – The Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera is set to roll out the enhanced nutribun (E-Nutribun) squash variant in the region for the supplemental feeding of undernourished children especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This will be done through technology adoptor VFM Food Products, a beneficiary of the DOST-Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (Setup).

As part of the technology transfer from the DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), VFM Food Products completed the assessment, training, and compliance to the standards and protocols to produce and market the E-Nutribun.

With the DOST-FNRI technology license already issued to the firm on April 26, the second E-Nutribun adoptor in the region is expected to start its production this month.

Mila’s Bakeshop and Canteen, also a Setup-assisted firm in Ifugao, is the first E-Nutribun adoptor in the Cordillera.

DOST Provincial S&T Director for Apayao Debbie Glynn Manangkil attested for the nutritional value of the E-Nutribun as it has a new formulation and is made of natural, fresh squash.

“It is enriched with squash and milk to make it nutritious and delicious. It is great for snacks and it is being used for the supplemental feeding programs of Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and other agencies,” Manangkil said.

The enhanced nutribun is made from squash that is rich in fiber, energy, protein, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamin A – nutrients needed by growing Filipino children. It has zero trans-fat, no cholesterol, no artificial flavor, and no food coloring.

Partnered with milk products, E-Nutribuns are part of the national government’s supplementary feeding program for children during community quarantine.

In April last year, DSWD Memorandum Circular 12, s. 2020 and Nutrition Cluster Advisory 2, s. 2020 recommended the provision of healthy and nutritious family food packs and sustainable food source during community quarantine, set the guidelines for feeding program during the pandemic period, and encouraged local government units to use DOST-FNRI-developed products for their supplemental feeding program.

The E-Nutribun is the improved and reformulated version of the famous nutribun given to public school elementary pupils in the 1970s to 1980s to help address malnutrition.

There are 79 licensed adoptors of E-Nutribun across the country since it was launched in July last year. – Christian Robert Sandoval