One of the public good technologies which the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) offers for commercialization is the Enhanced Nutribun (e-nutribun) of the DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).
A bakeshop in Cotabato Province, the M’lang Breadmaster is among the MSMEs granted the Technology Licensing Agreement by DOST-FNRI to adopt the e-nutribun (squash and carrot variants), a more nutritious version of the plain nutribun in 1970s packed with Vitamin A, natural source of fiber and some minerals like iron, calcium, potassium and zinc reformulated to better fight malnultrition among growing children.
M’lang Breadmaster currently supplies e-nutribun for feeding programs of both the DepEd and the DSWD in Region XII, along with four (4) other licensees in the region.
Meanwhile, to assure their growing Muslim customers that their bread products such as the pandesal, ensaymada, sliced bread and many more are Halal owing to some of their outsourced ingredients marked/ labeled as such, M’lang Breadmaster requested assistance of DOST XII.
Regional Director Sammy Malawan of DOST XII ordered the conduct of on-site assessment and appropriate techno-training to the said establishment in preparation for their journey towards securing certification from a Halal Certifying Body.
RD Malawan encourages other MSMEs in the food sector to avail of the agency’s services on Halal development.
The techno-training and assessment on Halal to Mlang Breadmaster took place on February 14-15, 2022 at their area in Bialong, M’lang, Cotabato. Ms. Maritzu Sinolinding, Science Research Specialist II of DOST XII served as primary Resource Person on Halal Awareness including details on Philippine National Standard PNS 2067:2008, and, Philippine National Halal Certification Scheme. Ms. Klang Salinda, Science Research Assistant, elaborated on the formulation of the Halal Assurance Management System.
Owner/ proprietor of M’lang Breadmaster, Ms. Maria Luz Sorongon along with her workers expressed their astonishment as to how complex halal assurance is. Yet conveyed interest to still pursue Halal Certification.
“Akala ko yong Halal ay simply walang pork”, Ms. Sorongon said as seconded by all her workers.
Ms Sinolinding, on the other hand, make it clear that DOST XII is not a regulatory body which can issue Halal Certification but can provide assistance in the preparation to obtain it especially on the level of laboratory verification. She emphasized that DOST XII currently operates the Philippine National Halal Laboratory and Science Center in Koronadal City.
According to S&T Provincial Director Michael Mayo, the establishment is also a recipient of the DOST-MPEX (Manufacturing Productivity Extension Program); a potential beneficiary of the innovation fund under DOST-SETUP (Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program); and has also signified interest to avail DOST XII assistance on packaging and labeling.