By Robby Joy Salveron, Intern
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Alarmed by the growing malnutrition in the country, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) proposed a growth mixture as a possible solution for malnutrition.
“The Micronutrient Growth Mix is a small, two-gram sachet which provides six of the micronutrients found lacking in Filpino meals,” FNRI Technology and Commercialization Head Engr. Rosemarie Garcia said in a news conference Monday at SM City Annex, this city.
The growth mix is comprised of Vitamin A, folate, calcium, iron, iodine, and zinc that are said to be essential to a child’s mental and physical development.
“It is needed on a daily basis even with small amount of intake. When all of these six micronutrients are combined, you’ll have a complete meal for a child. A meal complete with protein, minerals and vitamins.” she said.
Garcia said this new and well-formulated mix could be a tool to “decrease the malnutrition cases here in the country.” She also said that it is very efficient and affordable since it only costs P2.50 peso per sachet.
In 2015, a study by the FNRI of the Department of Science and Technology showed that the rate of chronic malnutrition or stunting for children under five years old has grown from 30.5 percent in 2013 to 33.5 percent.
The proposed growth mix was completed in 2014. Results of the study showed that there’s a big improvement on the nutritional status of the children (who used growth mix) over their nationwide nutritional survey which started in 2013.
Presently, Garcia said the Nutridense Food Manufacturing Corporation located in Pangasinan is the only product adapter in the country.
“I’m hopeful that there would be an adapter here in Mindanao. We don’t want it to be a monopoly. We are aiming to have adapters here in Mindanao and in Visayas,” she said.
Garcia said technology adopters are those who are willing to put in money to commercially produce the product and bring it to market. She said it could be private or government agencies.
Garcia also stressed that the more adapters the product could have, there would also be greater chance to reduce the malnutrition rate in the Philippines. “Mindanao is big and there are certain pockets of the population who are still having this problem. This is to address the problem in the whole country.”
The product is set to be presented to beneficiaries, stakeholders and private sectors on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the SM Lanang Premiere during the Mindanao-wide Technology Transfer Day organized by DOST.(davaotoday.com)