The Philippines, being a disaster-prone country, regularly faces disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. Strong quakes actually hit the country in the last quarter of the year followed by two strong storms during the Christmas season which resulted in casualties, devastated homes and establishments, no electrical supply, and people who are left without means to cook. In times like these, what people need are ready-to-eat food.
To address the immediate need of supplying food to disaster victims, the Packaging Technology Division (PTD) of the Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) sent out the “Pack of Hope” food packs which contained DOST-developed products such as rice porridge, smoked fish rice meal, and BigMo (bigas/rice-mongo) curls, to provide 12 percent of recommended energy and 11 percent of recommended protein to children.
Developed in 2014, the “Pack of Hope” ready-to-eat (RTE) meals included the Pinoy rice porridge or Arroz Caldo that bears a shelf life of at least one year. The product was developed as a disaster mitigation/relief food to address immediate food requirements.
“RTE chicken arroz caldo is packed with nutrients and for a famished family who had lost practically everything to an earthquake or typhoon, a simple bowl of arroz caldo or pack of RTE is already Hallelujah!” a DOST ITDI report said.
In December 2019, a new idea to diversify the product line was explored by DOST-ITDI. ITDI-Technological Services Division Chief Nelia Elisa C. Florendo met with Milagros G. Bagaporo, Plant Manager of Kai-Anya Food, Inc. and discussed plans to pursue several product development plans on RTE Arroz Caldo.
Kai-Anya has been a licensed producer of ITDI since 2015. Their new plans include product improvement/ reformulation, packaging system and design integration, production expansion, and market positioning through Halal certification. The possibility of making the product visible in supermarkets is also being eyed.
Bagaporo, with her Q&A Supervisor Marvin N. Malasa, expressed eagerness and interest to market a more palatable and nutritious RTE Arroz Caldo and has sought the assistance of ITDI’s Packaging Technology and Technological Services Divisions.
They are also aiming to increase the volume of production. To do this, Kai-Anya is currently building a new facility. A newly approved financial assistance from DOST’s Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) has enabled it to acquire a water retort, a new addition to its line of production equipment. Current product packaging is done through a private toll packing facility.
The RTE Arroz Caldo is being manufactured and sold by Kai-Anya Food, Inc. The company was officially appointed by the DOST as its Technology-adaptor of ready-to-eat Chicken Arroz Caldo.
Filipino groups and individuals continue to initiate programs to help disaster victims, among them, Maymay Entrata, and other ABS-CBN TV & Movie celebrities who created Liter of Light solar lamps for the Christmas season’s Tisoy and Ursula-typhoon-stricken areas.
Globe Volunteers also shared food packs with Typhoon Tisoy victims.
The University of the Philippines has been deploying its experts to disaster zones with the leadership of the UP Resilience Institute and has initiated helping build the City of Manila into a disaster-resilient city.
SEND cheers in the comments below to DOST-ITDI and Kai-Anya for developing disaster-ready meal packs!
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