Bread has been around since the 16th century. Filipino was influenced by the Spaniards with their Pan de Sal (bread with salt). As the years went by, bakers of bread had improved the taste, texture, and weights of bread. It has been added with different flavors and shapes.
After the lockdowns and quarantine in different regions in the country due to the coronavirus, the number of malnourished children has risen due to insufficient nutrients intake. In order to decrease the number, the government has revived the nutribun to meet the nutritional needs.
Nitribun has been distributed in elementary schools for feeding programs. it was been developed by nutritionists and agrarian from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, VA 24061, United States. It was made of white and whole wheat flour mixed with yeast and a non-fat dried milk powder but was later on substituted with banana flour and coconut.
In 2019, nutribuns in the Philippines have added moringa leaf powders, squash, eggs, sugar, and salt was used as the main ingredients. It supplies micronutrients, such as calcium, iron, B vitamins, iodine, and sodium to the diet.
The Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) conducted an online soft launching of “Ang Pagbabalik ng Nutribun” on July 29, 2020. It has been attended by different participants from different regions and offices to answer the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Memorandum Circular No. 12 Series of 2020, or the Guidelines in the Implementation of the Supplementary Feeding Program During Community Quarantine or Other Similar Emergencies during the pandemic. The new Nutribun was called the Enhanced Nutribun. It has more nutrition like iron and vitamin A.
One of the granted technology adopters that were registered in the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST–FNRI), the Bakery owner Yvonne Gatmaytan located in Puerto Princesa. She said that they have already produced 100,000 pieces of e-nutribun with squash as its main ingredient since January 2021. It has been given out to most of the province schools in the northern and southern municipalities in Palawan Island to support the initiative of the Department of Education (DepEd) for their modular learners and to the upcoming days. It will also be rolled out in selected supermarkets this year.
On her interview she said “Maraming salamat sa DOST-FNRI kung saan ibinahagi nila sa amin kung paano magproduce nitong napaka-sustansyang enhanced nutribun at kami ang naging unang licensed adoptor nito sa buong Palawan. Dahil din sa nutribun na ito magkakaroon na ng tamang nutrition ang mga bata sa Palawan kahit sa simpleng tinapay lamang at isa pang importante ay nabigyan namin ng trabaho ang isang community sa amin,”.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that “With the COVID-19 pandemic, it has made things even more complicated. And with all these challenges brought about by COVID-19, the government must do all that we can by stretching our limited resources. With these challenges, we need to turn to maximize science and technology to fill these nutrient gaps and better provide Filipino children with healthy food that they need to survive and thrive.
“The Nutribun is an example of a science-driven solution that the government is pursuing to address hunger and malnutrition. The Enhanced Nutribun developed by DOSTFNRI is more delicious, more nutritious has better texture, made mainly from squash for better taste, and enriched with protein, iron, and vitamin A among others,” Nograles further declared on the virtual launching of Enhanced Nutribun.