Member of participating team meticulously adds flavor to their mouth watering dishes

As part of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) advocacy to promote brown rice, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) organized a Brown Rice Cooking Challenge at the FNRI Compound, Bicutan, Taguig City on 4-5 July 2011.

According to Dr. Mario Capanzana, FNRI Director, “Brown rice is gaining popularity today because of its nutritional benefits. With that, we want to introduce to the public the different ways of serving brown rice, as appetizer, soup, main dish and dessert through this Brown Rice Cooking Challenge.”

The competition is participated in by different universities and colleges in Metro Manila. Serving as judges of the competition were Nancy Lumen, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Culinary Lifestyle Magazine; Ms. Marieta Bumanglag, Senior Science Research Specialist of FNRI; Chef Antonio Gantioqui, expert cook from the Center for Advanced Training in Food and Beverages Services, Incorporated of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); FNRI Director Mario Capanzana and DOST Secretary Mario Montejo.

Following are the winners of the Brown Rice Cooking Challenge:

First prize winner - Miriam College

  • Appetizer - Lettuce topped brown rice (also won as Best Appetizer during the semi finals)
  • Soup - Tomato and brown rice bisque with brown rice stuffed peppers (also won as Best Soup during the semi finals)
  • Main Dish - Lamb and brown rice meat balls
  • Dessert - Mango and brown rice mousse

Second prize winner - University of Sto Tomas Manila

  • Appetizer - Chicken and egg roll surprise
  • Soup - Rich dumpling rice soup delight
  • Main Dish - Rellenong bangus stuffed with seven treasures (also won as Best Main Dish during the semi finals)
  • Dessert - Choconut rice balls

Third prize winner - University of the East

  • Appetizer - Brown rice stuffed tofu pocket
  • Soup - Brown rice chowder
  • Main Dish - Prawn thermidore filled with brown rice
  • Dessert - Brown rice macaroons

Consolation prize winners

Emilio Aguinaldo College

  • Appetizer - Pocket of beef strips and salsa on brown rice soft
  • Soup – Picante (spicy) brown rice soup
  • Main Dish - Itik volumen (roll) with brown rice stuffing paired
  • Dessert - Duo of arroz (Trez leche champorado with lemony banana brown rice pudding with sugar spun

Centro Escolar University

  • Appetizer - Chile parilla con tuna Y arron marron
  • Soup - Sopa arroz marron con pechay
  • Main Dish - Arroz marron con pollo
  • Dessert - Arroz marron con mango (also won as Best Dessert during the semi finals)

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said that, “Brown rice is a healthier alternative that will, hopefully, reduce the demand for white rice, most of it are imported. By consuming brown rice, we are not only helping our own farmers. We are also increasing our intake of micronutrients needed by our body.”

PNHRS 2011


Health research stakeholders nationwide will meet anew on 10-12 August 2011 to celebrate the 5th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week at the L’Fisher Hoter in Bacolod City.

Bearing the theme, “Convergence in Divergence, Innovations for better health,” the three-day event is a venue for stakeholders to interact, to learn from each other, to share information and experiences, and contribute research-based solutions to health problems, among other things.

Another highlight of the event is the launching of Health Innovation Marketplace and awarding of winners for the Best Mentor Award and Poster Exhibit Contest.

For more information, please contact PNHRS secretariat at telephone numbers: (02) 8377534 or (02) 8377537 or visit PNHRS website at

Every third week of July, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) celebrates the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) to showcase the various research projects supported by the Philippines. For the first time, the NSTW kick-off event was held in the region, at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang, Davao City, on 6-9 July. Participated by students, entrepreneurs, researchers, and local government employees and officials, the three-day event inspired Mindanaoans to patronize local technology and feature the capability of local science experts.

With the theme, “24 Hours of Healthy Living through S&T,” the exhibit for the Science, Technology, and Innovation for Health Cluster (STI for Health) showed how DOST-supported and assisted technologies are integrated in the daily lives of families.  

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), together with the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), and Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) showcased DOST breakthrough programs, services, and technologies under this cluster. Among the featured technologies include the self-cleaning textiles and ornamental plants from PTRI; stabilized brown rice and rice-mongo, and sesame baby food from FNRI.  PCHRD, on the other hand, presented FASSSTER, Biotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit, ReliefVent, and Agapay from PCHRD.

Gracing the opening ceremonies was President Rodrigo Duterte who highlighted the importance of continuous innovation and its role in the development of the nation, “Science, technology. It’s innovation. You innovate now or you perish. If we do not innovate in our lives, in all forms, we would have a hard time this next generation,“ he said.

The National Science Technology Week Mindanao celebration is organized by the Mindanao Cluster of Department of Science and Technology. For more information about the National and Regional Science and Technology Week celebrations, please visit


The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Country Project for Children has reported that malnutrition is associated with more than half of all less than 5 years old children’s deaths worldwide. According to the report, undernourished children are more likely to die from common childhood ailments - some will survive but have recurring sicknesses and growth problems.

The Philippines is not spared in this global endemic nutrition problem. In fact, the 2008 National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) revealed that among 0-5 year old children, three out of 10 are underweight and under-height.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said that the increasing number of malnourished children in the Philippines is associated to poor feeding practices due to mother’s lack of knowledge or awareness on proper nutrition and sanitation, lack of access to potable water and severe poverty. “This served as basis for DOST to embark on a project entitled Science and Technology-based Interventions to Address Malnutrition dubbed as Sulong Pinoy Program - aimed to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition among children not only in the cities but most especially in the remote and far flung communities in the provinces,” added Secretary Montejo.

“The program has three project components: production and technology transfer of the FNRI complementary snack foods; development of nutrition intervention strategy (DOST PINOY Model); and technology generation for the production of multi-nutrient growth mix,” said FNRI Director Dr. Mario Capanzana.

For the first component, the protein-rich food technologies developed by FNRI such as the Rice-Mongo blend, Rice-Mongo-Sesame, and Rice-Mongo Curls will be produced for the complementary feeding to address the nutrient deficiency among malnourished children. These technologies are also ready for commercialization to interested private entrepreneurs. The FNRI-DOST will provide technical assistance to Local Government Units (LGUs), Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and private organizations who are interested to produce these food products for livelihood purposes.

The second component of the program is the DOST PINOY Model, where PINOY stands for Package for the Improvement of Nutrition for Young Children. This component is a customized package of nutrition modules to empower the Barangays Health Workers (BHWs) and Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs) in educating the mothers to practice breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding using the FNRI complementary food blends and snack foods.

“We feed the child simultaneously with their mother’s mind,” said Dr. Capanzana. “In this component, DOST will provide the supply of supplementary foods for 120-day feeding cycle to the initially identified 1000 (0-5) year old children from the nutritionally depressed communities of Iloilo, Leyte, Antique and Occidental Mindoro - the identified provinces with high prevalence of underweight children based on the 2008 National Nutrition Survey.”

The third component of the project is the undergoing R&D effort to fortify the food products (Rice-Mongo blend, Rice-Mongo-Sesame, and Rice-Mongo Curls) with Vitamin A, iron, iodine, zinc and folic acid. The project also aimed to produce a multi-nutrient growth mix using fruits and vegetables in a ready-to-use sachet that can be used to fortify the ordinary “lugaw” with vitamins and mineral and complement the protein and energy-dense blend formulation of the three introduced products as well.

“Along with the existing community-based nutrition education effort being implemented by various government agencies, non-government organizations and private organizations, malnutrition in the country would be lessened if not eliminated,” Dr. Capanzana added.

Sustainability of the Program

The program encourages strong participation of the community not only for beneficiaries but also the local chief executives, officials and nutrition committees through constant advocacy meeting. “With this, they will personally understand and become aware on the importance of the program, making them feel that this program is designed for them, for their community - for their own good,” said Dr. Capanzana.

On the other hand, aside from getting fresh and nutritious food alternatives in vegetable production or backyard gardening component of the project, it is also an opportunity for the community to earn money by selling their excess harvests. “With that, we can say that this program helps the community not only for what they need today but, most importantly, they will learn practical knowledge that will enable them to become productive and well-nourished citizens of the country,” concluded Dr. Capanzana.

The DOST Sulong PINOY Program is a monitored project of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).