Pinay group unveils ‘healthylicious’ pancit canton with squash

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In photo: One of Filipino favorite noodles, pancit canton with a healthy twist will surely whet Pinoys appetite as this noodle will certainly be in the center of the table on every occasion.

By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

While there are many versions of pancit noodles that way it is cooked, the new pancit canton is created under the auspices of the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s (DOST-FNRI) will surely spell a difference.

The fortified and nutrient-rich Pancit Canton with Squash Technology was gratefully received by PHP Noodle Haus, an association of marginalized women in Barangay Taliba, San Luis, Batangas, through a technology transfer training conducted via Zoom platform last August 18, 2021.

More than unfolding the maximum potentials of PHP Noodle Haus as a community enterprise, DOST Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) – Batangas strives to make the association abreast with the latest technologies, which can help improve their product line. Being known as a local producer of pancit canton and shing-a-ling for 11 years already, PHP Noodle Haus continuously spins off applications to enhance their products through in-house product development.

In 2020, the company was granted with their second DOST Community-Based project titled “Technology Upgrade and Process Improvement of PHP Noodle Haus in Barangay. Taliba, San Luis, Batangas” that comprises the transfer of DOST-FNRI’s technology on pancit canton with squash, aimed at enhancing their current formulation and process, and the provision for appropriate equipment that will address their production problems.

Image from DOST-STII PR

The technology licensing agreement was executed between DOST-FNRI and PHP Noodle Haus with DOST CALABARZON PSTC Batangas as a witness. The undertaking was done as a pre-requisite to the actual technology transfer. Other requirements, including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Gap Analysis, Technology Needs Assessment (TNA), permits, and certifications were, likewise, complied with to push through with the technology transfer.

Jaypy S. De Juan, Senior Science Research Specialist at the Business Development Unit under the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Section of DOST-FNRI, facilitated the technology transfer training. Given the constraints of face-to-face training due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the technology transfer modality has been aided by the virtual platform. To make learning easier, PSTC Batangas Staff, Mhark Ellgine A. Libao (Science Research Specialist II) and John Maico Hernandez (Science Research Specialist I), were present on-site to guide the women’s association on the step-by-step procedures producing the pancit canton with squash technology training.  

PSTC Batangas Provincial Director, Felina C. Malabanan, who was also present, expressed her appreciation for DOST-FNRI’s support in strengthening the capacity of PHP Noodle Haus. She further recognized the commitment of the women’s association in sustaining their enterprise and hoped for the maximum utilization of the new technology for their enterprise’s advantage.

For her part, Aurrea B. Addun, president of PHP Noodle Haus, thanked DOST-FNRI and PSTC Batangas for the interventions they received. “Maraming maraming salamat po sa FNRI at DOST Batangas sa ipinagkaloob n’yo po sa aming bagong kaalaman. Malaking tulong po ito sa aming negosyo dahil mas gumanda po ang kalidad ng aming produkto,” she said.

According to DOST-FNRI, noodle products are well-accepted by all classes of consumers since children and adults take noodle products not only for their snacks but also for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Based on their research, canton noodles are consumed daily by 7 out of every 100 households and 36 out of every 100 households weekly.

While Vitamin A deficiency remains a public health problem in the Philippines, affecting more than 1.7 million children under the age of five and 500,000 pregnant and nursing women, the partial substitution of veggies like squash in place of wheat flour in noodles commonly consumed by children and adults is found to be effective in addressing this deficiency.

Pancit Canton with Squash, a nutritious noodle product, is prepared from a blend of wheat flour, squash puree, salt, egg, and noodle improver. A 50g serving will provide 16%, 20%, and 24% of the RDA for energy, protein, and vitamin A, respectively of 4-6-year-old children.