TUNGAWAN LGU BLENDS RICE AND MONGO TO ERADICATE MALNUTRITION
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.