Carrot nutribun, anyone?: DOST-FNRI launches ‘new variant’ of enhanced nutribun

Published April 28, 2021, 2:01 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) officially launched Wednesday, April 28, its newly developed enhanced nutribun carrot variant.

Enhanced Nutribun Carrot Variant (Photo from the Facebook page of Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI))

DOST-FNRI Director Dr. Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa led the virtual launch of the new variant of the nutribun, which is “more nutritious” as it is loaded with more vitamins such as vitamin A, iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc in significant quantities.

“Of course, as nutritionist I know that carrot is like a squash and other colored fruits and vegetables that contain betacarotene. Betacarotene, when ingested will be metabolized to vitamin A that helps keep the eyes healthy and it is very important nutritent to guard our body from free radicals which are one of the causes of infections. Carrot also contains vitamin C, which is another immune booster,” she said during the virtual launch of the enhanced nutribun carrot variant on Wednesday.

She noted that in 2015, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) listed carrots as the top 5 of the 27 primary vegetable products.

Citing the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Research, Agdeppa said carrot is one of the most important vegetables commonly grown in the Philippine highlands.

The FNRI top official said the lack of supply of squash prodded them to develop a new variant of nutribun. In 2020, the DOST-FNRI launched its enhanced nutribun, which is made with squash.

“Now moreover, what prompted us to really develop another variant using our basic nutritional concept of carrots. It is because of the challenges faced by one of our adopters that during the lean months of the supply of squash, the price was so high and therefore the supply was very scarce and so our adopters cannot supply the demand of our partner agencies for supplementary feeding,” she said.

Agdeppa said during their meeting with Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, who heads the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger, last Jan. 26, they relayed their plan to develop a new variant of enhanced nutribun.

“It was in this meeting that we informed the Task Force on Zero Hunger that we are into process of developing another variant of enhanced nutribun, Today marks the realisation of that technology,” he said.

“Truly the COVID-19 pandemic has posed food and nutrition challenges in the Philippines particularly food security as evidenced in the recently conducted 2020 National Rapid Nutrition Assessment Survey of our Institute. Thus, we are encouraging our existing and prospective partners to support once again our DOST-FNRI enhanced nutribun carrots to easily deliver nutritious foods to our children who cannot avail of our previous center-based supplementary feeding program.”

The round-shaped enhanced carrot nutribun is a bread with natural fiber and has no artificial flavor and color.

“It provides energy, protein, vitamin A, iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc in significant quantities recommended for young children. It has zero trans-fatty acids (or trans-fats) and has no cholesterol,” the DOST-FNRI said.

It said the enhanced nutribun weighs approximately 160 grams.

One serving of enhanced nutribun with carrots contains 500 kilocalories, 18 grams of protein, six milligrams of iron and 350 micrograms (ug) of vitamin A.

“It can provide 31 percent of energy, 59 percent of protein, 60 percent of iron, and 90 percent of vitamin A, based on the recommended energy and nutrient intake of the Philippine Dietary Reference Intake (PDRI) of a reference male child six to nine years old,” the FNRI said.

When packed in polyethylene (PE) plastic, the enhanced nutribun can last up to 5 days at room temperature, it said.