TUN­GAWAN LGU BLENDS RICE AND MONGO TO ERAD­I­CATE MAL­NU­TRI­TION

Agriculture - - More Nutritious - BY JULIO P. YAP, JR.

THE LO­CAL GOVERN­MENT UNIT (LGU) of Tun­gawan ofthe prov­ince of Zamboanga Sibugay has adopted the Com­ple­men­tary Food Pro­duc­tion pro­gram of the Depart­ment of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST) in an ef­fort to ad­dress the prob­lem of mal­nu­tri­tion among chil­dren, from ba­bies up to those five years of age. Ac­cord­ing to Tun­gawan Mayor Ab­du­raup Abi­son, by us­ing pro­cessed rice and mongo, they are now pro­duc­ing suf­fi­cient amounts of Rice-Mongo Curls, a nu­tri­tious snack made from rice flour and mongo flour, and Rice-Mongo Baby Food Blend, a ready-to-eat baby food.

Abi­son said th­ese prod­ucts are vi­tal in erad­i­cat­ing the mal­nu­tri­tion prob­lem in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity through a reg­u­lar sup­ple­men­tary feed­ing pro­gram im­ple­mented by the lo­cal so­cial wel­fare de­vel­op­ment of­fice.

The tech­nol­ogy is part of the DOST’s strate­gies to meet the Philip­pines’ Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goals, par­tic­u­larly those con­cern­ing the re­duc­tion, by half, of the num­bers of those who suf­fer from hunger, and solv­ing the per­sis­tent prob­lem of mal­nu­tri­tion among chil­dren in the coun­try­side. To pro­duce the com­ple­men­tary food blends and snack food items de­vel­oped by the DOST’s Food and Nutri­tion Re­search In­sti­tute, Abi­son said the depart­ment pro­vided the nec­es­sary equip­ment; fund­ing came from the DOST Re­gion-9 of­fice. Th­ese in­clude the grinder/flour mill, weigh­ing scale, high­speed mixer, ex­truder, dryer, and prod­uct sealer.

Ac­cord­ing to Gau­den­cio R. Abe­jero, Jr., the pro­duc­tion man­ager of Tun­gawan’s Com­ple­men­tary Food Pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity, the in­stant Rice-Mongo Baby Food Blend is a com­ple­men­tary food (food other than breast milk or for­mula that sup­ple­ments it and helps the child tran­si­tion to solid food) that is rich in pro­tein and en­ergy.It is pro­duced us­ing the ex­tru­sion cook­ing method, and is eas­ily pre­pared; just add pre­vi­ously boiled wa­ter un­til the mix­ture reaches the de­sired con­sis­tency.

At the oven where pre-dry­ing or toast­ing is done to re­duce mois­ture con­tent.

The fa­cil­ity’s per­son­nel care­fully mon­i­tor the weight of rice and mongo prior to grind­ing to main­tain the mix­ture’s con­sis­tency.

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