By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY – The Food Processing Innovation Center Davao (FPIC Davao) has produced natural immunity-boosting beverages as functional thirst-quenchers for front liners in the battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 11 bared in a statement that the ready-to-drink beverages were made from locally sourced raw materials that contain vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.
The drinks are fusions of citrus fruit juices, extracts of leafy vegetables, edible flowers, herbs and spices to create refreshing and immunity-boosting drinks.
It stated that the project was done through the initiative of DOST 11 and the FPIC Davao, in partnership with the faculty of the Philippine Women’s College (PWC), which donated the raw materials, and Metro Ace Innovplas Corporation which donated the bottle containers.
FPIC Davao has already delivered a total of 310 bottles of juices to health workers deployed in Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). Packs of ground coffee donated by Coffee for Peace were also given during the distribution which was done in two batches with 155 juice bottles per batch on April 14, and April 17.
The beverage comes in four variants – Purple Sweet Potato Leaves-Calamansi, Blue-TernateCalamansi, Calamansi-Ginger, and Turmeric-Ginger-Calamansi. Citrus fruits like calamansi are excellent source vitamin C while ginger and turmeric contain compounds that have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Purple sweet potato leaves and blue ternate flower contains a bioactive compound called anthocyanin that protect against cell damage caused by free radicals. It also makes the beverage appealing in color.
It said the FPIC Davao targets to produce a total of 600 bottles of juice drinks. Other batches are set to be delivered this week.
The DOST 11 said Amapart from the frontliners, 40 ready-to-drink beverages were also given to their scholars who were stranded here in Davao City due to the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
It said the innovation center will also be producing vacuum fried squash chips to be distributed along with the beverages.