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UP Diliman Technologies Bring Ready-To-Eat Cooked Rice, Noodles to Typhoon Yolanda Victims

By Agnes May B. Bantigue

A professor from the College of Home Economics (CHE) of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman  led a team of volunteers to produce ready-to-eat (RTE) cooked rice and bihon noodles for deployment to areas severely affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

Dr. Ma. Patricia V. Azanza, food scientist and professor at the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, pioneered the novel processes for producing the RTE cooked rice and noodles.

The RTE cooked rice and noodles are retrogradation-resistant and shelf-stable for a month. These goods do not require further cooking, reheating, or hot water hydration like actual cooked rice and noodles, but can be stored for weeks. These properties make the products ideal for situations where cooking is not an option, such as in evacuation centers of calamity-stricken areas and during military field operations.

Units of RTE pasteurized rice ready for deployment. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Ma. Patricia V. Azanza)

Units of RTE pasteurized rice ready for deployment. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Ma. Patricia V. Azanza)

In fact, these situations prompted Dr. Azanza to create the technology for RTE cooked rice and noodles. She aimed to produce a meal that provides the carbohydrates needed by soldiers who will be expending a lot of energy. She determined that such meals should not require cooking to avoid compromising a soldier’s location in the field. The meals must be retrogradation-resistant and shelf-stable, so there is little risk of food spoilage. Dr. Azanza immediately saw the potential for RTE meals in evacuation centers where people are in need of food that will satisfy their hunger.

In the Pilot Food Plant of the College of Home Economics, over 300 students, staff, and faculty members work hand-in-hand for the production of ready-to-eat products for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. OVCRD file photo.

In the Pilot Food Plant of the College of Home Economics, over 300 students, staff, and faculty members work hand-in-hand for the production of ready-to-eat products for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. OVCRD file photo.

Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), reported to be the most powerful typhoon in 2013, caused catastrophic damage to much of the Visayas Region, leaving 1.9 million people homeless and more than 600,000 displaced. Since the typhoon’s devastation, there has been overwhelming support from both local and foreign organizations to ensure relief operations in the affected areas. Dr. Azanza saw the opportunity to help out, and immediately planned the production of 5,000 units of 150-gram packs of RTE rice and 3,000 units of 150-gram packs of RTE noodles. Over 300 students, staff, and faculty from the College of Home Economics volunteered for the 12-day production in the Pilot Food Plant (PFP) at CHE. The production was funded through a Source of Solution grant by the UP Diliman Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development (OVCRD).

The retrogradation-resistant shelf-stable cooked rice, one of the technologies in this initiative, was registered as a Utility Model in the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) in 2011. A Philippine Patent Application for the RTE noodles will also be filed through the IP and Technology Transfer Program of the UP Diliman OVCRD.

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Category: Intellectual Property, News

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