Valenzuela gets DOST facility to fight malnutrition

Thursday, September 28, 2017 05:07 AM    Views : 586by:David Matthew Gopilan, S&T Media Service

Valenzuela City will soon wipe out child malnutrition among its local problems. With the establishment of a facility that will produce complementary food, Valenzuela City's children three years of age and below are assured of nutritious snacks that will keep them healthy.

In the recent celebration of the Regional Science and Technology Week of the Department of Science and Technology – National Capital Region (DOST-NCR) in CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela) Cluster, Valenzuela City received an automated complementary food production facility. The Valenzuela City Polytechnic College (ValPoly) houses the new facility.

DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Pena, who led the inauguration, said that the food facility aims to manufacture BIGMO, a complementary food for children aged 0-5 years old.  Developed by DOST's Food and Nutrition Research Institute, BIGMO comes in three forms: BIGMO Curls (a cheese-flavored snack), BIGMO ready-to-cook baby food, and BIGMO instant blend. These nutritious food products aim to address malnutrition in the city.

Valenzuela City welcomed said DOST technology with open arms, said DOST-National Capital Region Regional Director Jose B. Patalinjug.  Further, Valenzuela City Mayor Rexlon T. Gatchalian said that their city currently has a barangay-based feeding program.

Secretary dela Peña mentioned that while there are four other food production facilities installed in various parts of the country, Valenzuela's facility is the first to be automated. Consequently, "human handling and contamination are minimized," said Engr. Fred P. Liza of DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Institute. He added that the facility also has a centralized control system so "everything is controlled."

While demonstrating to officials and media, Engr. Liza mentioned that the facility can process 120 kg of rice or mongo in an hour which is equivalent to 30 grams per sachet of BIGMO. Further, the facility can process the rice and mongo mix up to 180 kg which is 50 percent more. "An automated operation can finish a day's production in two hours," Engr. Liza shared.

Various offices of DOST such as the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Metals Industry Research and Development Institute, and the DOST-NCR– worked hand-in-hand with the Valenzuela City LGU, ValPoly, and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce Valenzuela Chapter. (David Matthew Gopilan, S&T Media Service)

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