2.23.2013

PIA News Service - Friday, February 22, 2013



Expanded immunization program saves more lives

By Imelda A. Agdeppa

MANILA, Feb. 22 (PIA) -- The Expanded Program on Immunization of the Department of Health (DOH) aims to reduce infant deaths and illnesses by addressing tuberculosis (TB), diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough, tetanus, polio and measles.

Immunization, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine.

Vaccines are one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions that the government’s health system can provide to the poor and most vulnerable populations.

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) conducted a national survey on the expanded program on immunization among Filipino children in 2011.

According to the survey, complete immunization coverage among children four years old and below reached almost 92 percent.

Survey results also revealed that 94.9 percent of infants availed of the BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) and 9 out of 10 infants or 92.4 percent received at least one dose of OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine). Also 9 out of 10 or 92.5 percent received DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus toxoid), and 92.9 percent received Hepa-B vaccine. Moreover, 8 out of 10 or 85.3 percent availed of the measles vaccine.

According to the 2003 national demographic and health survey, information based from health cards and mothers’ reports (combined) shows that children 12-23 months old have been immunized with vaccines against the six preventable childhood diseases – tuberculosis , diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and measles-before one year of age while seventy percent of children age 12-23 months have actually received the vaccines.

Also, almost a 40 percent increase in participation rate for the measles vaccine was noted from 2008 to 2011 at 45.7 percent and 85.3 percent, respectively. A significant 7.6 percent increase was likewise noted in Hepa-B coverage of children from 2008 at 85.3 percent to 2011 at 92.9 percent.

The WHO further noted that millions of children worldwide die from diseases that can be prevented through vaccines.

Immunization is a proven program for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases.

Aside from being one of the most cost-effective health investments, immunization is also a strategy that is accessible to even the most hard-to-reach and vulnerable population groups.

Vaccines can be delivered effectively through outreach activities and do not require any major lifestyle change.

However, despite the success of immunization campaigns, many children still remain unprotected and at-risk to life-threatening diseases.

The WHO observed an increase of 14.8 percent in reported cases of vaccine-preventable diseases from 7,985 in 2010 to 9,167 in 2011.

The government, health workers, local government units and private sector, should work hand in hand to encourage parents to have their children immunized.

Strict monitoring of intervention programs like immunization is needed to ensure community participation even in hard to reach areas.

Full benefits of immunization should be ensured as a universal right of all children, in regardless of where they live and who they are.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City. E-mail: mcv@fnri.dost.gov.ph, Telefax: 837-2934 and 827-3164, or call: 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST/PIA-Caraga)


Whip your own mayonnaise

By Czarina Teresita S. Martinez

Homemade flavored mayonnaise can be surprisingly delightful.

It is an excellent dressing for potato and macaroni salads, a savory sauce for breaded fish fillet and a sumptuous dip for nachos and chips.

Mayonnaise is a stable oil-in-water mixture of egg yolk and corn oil.

Fresh egg yolk is a basic ingredient in making perfect homemade mayonnaise, while the key to its success is in the mixing and maintaining the smooth blend of oil-in-water emulsion.

Here is the basic recipe for homemade mayonnaise:
Ingredients:
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon fine iodized salt
1/8 teaspoon of sugar
1 cup corn oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Dash of white pepper

Procedure:

In a glass bowl, whisk together egg yolk, iodized salt, and sugar, then gradually add few drops of corn oil and continue whisking until the egg yolk and the corn oil thickens and lightens a bit.

Mayonnaise should be stiff enough to hold its shape. Now you have a perfect oil-in-water emulsion. Serve mayonnaise immediately.
A perfect mayonnaise has the pleasing mellow blend of salt, pepper, lemon, and sugar without the distinct oily taste.

Other spices may be added to make flavored mayonnaise, such as mustard, curry, and green herbs like basil, chives, parsley and oregano

Here are some tips to observe in making delicious, nutritious, and safe mayonnaise:
• Make sure you buy only fresh eggs from reputable suppliers that observe the highest standard in agricultural practices in raising chicken that lays eggs.

• Choose only fresh eggs that have intact egg shells with no traces of crack lines and dirt.

• Use good quality corn oil fortified with vitamin A. Read the labels and pay particular attention to the best before date. Oil should be fresh, not rancid. It is best to taste the oil before using.

• Make sure that all ingredients, especially the egg yolk, should be at room temperature before whisking for better emulsion.

Homemade mayonnaise is at its best for two days when stored in tightly-covered container inside the refrigerator at four degrees Centigrade.

All food containing mayonnaise should not stay more than two hours above the prescribed temperature as microbial contamination may occur.

Mayonnaise is a good source of energy and is a good vehicle for helping absorb fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.

However, the Philippine food guide pyramid recommends that adults use fats and oils sparingly, just enough to transport, absorb and utilize the fat soluble vitamins by the body.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City. E-mail: mcv@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com Telefax: 837-2934 and 827-3164, or call: 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST/PIA-Caraga)


Carbohydrates are not created equal

By Czarina Teresita S. Martinez

"Carbohydrates are not created equal", says Dr. Trinidad P. Trinidad, Scientist II of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST).

A study by Dr. Trinidad revealed that different carbohydrate-rich foods have different effects on blood sugar levels.

Several consenting volunteers participated in the research study where they were fed carbohydrate rich-foods.

Two to three hours after eating, blood samples were taken from the volunteers for analysis.

The researchers observed that different foods eaten by the volunteers have different effects on their blood sugar levels.

Some foods have higher glucose readings, while others have lower glucose readings.

Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream, are considered to have a higher glycemic index.

Carbohydrates that break down more slowly release glucose gradually into the bloodstream, have low glycemic index.

Glycemic Index is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar level.

Glycemia is a term that literally means "causing glucose or sugar in the blood".

Blood glucose is closely related to the amount and type of carbohydrates consumed.

Dr. Trinidad also studied the glycemic load of a single meal by assessing the overall glycemic effect of a diet based on both the glycemic index and the number of carbohydrates provided per serving for each food ingested.

The FNRI-DOST recently published a handbook "Glycemic Index of Commonly Consumed Carbohydrate Foods in the Philippines" authored by Dr. Trinidad P. Trinidad and Ms. Aida C. Mallillin. The handbook is available at the FNRI-DOST office.

Dr. Trinidad elaborated that the carbohydrates absorbed in the small intestine are the "available" carbohydrates, while carbohydrates that escape digestion and absorption in the small intestine are the "unavailable" carbohydrates.

Examples of "unavailable" carbohydrates are dietary fiber and resistant starch that enter the large intestine or the colon where they are broken down by friendly bacteria.

Dr. Trinidad says that the findings on carbohydrates and dietary fiber suggest their increasing role in reducing risk to obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular and coronary heart disease and some forms of cancer.

The understanding on carbohydrates, dietary fiber, glycemic index and glycemic load are beneficial to nutritionist-dietitians in planning diet intervention for clients.

The Food and Nutrition Training Unit of the FNRI-DOST can conduct trainings on “Understanding Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL): A tool in the control and management of lifestyle diseases”. Dr. Trinidad P. Trinidad, Dr. Rosario S. Sagum, and Ms. Aida C. Mallillin are the experts on GI and GL and acts as resource persons for trainings on these areas.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana , Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City, Telefax (02) 837-2934 or 837-31-64; or e-mail at mcv@fnri.dost.gov.ph or log on to the FNRI-DOST website at: www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST/PIA-Caraga)


News Feature: The power of food fortification

By Celina Ann Z. Javier

Through the years, vitamin A deficiency (VAD), iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) remained significant nutritional problems of the country.

One of the solutions in fighting micronutrient malnutrition is food fortification.
Food fortification is the addition of micronutrients like vitamin A, iron and iodine to foods widely consumed by the population.

Food fortification aims to increase the micronutrient intake to prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Several laws have been enacted with regards to food fortification, like Republic Act 8172, which is an act for salt iodization all over the Philippines.

On the other hand, Republic Act 8976 known as the Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000, calls for mandatory food fortification of rice with iron, wheat flour with vitamin A and iron, and cooking oil with vitamin A.

RA 8976 also encourages voluntary food fortification of processed food. Fortified food products have Sangkap Pinoy Seal (SPS) in their packaging.

The triangular SPS is used for the mandatory food fortification of food staple namely rice, flour and cooking oil.

The rectangular SPS is for voluntary food fortification of processed food like noodles, biscuits and chips.

According to the results of the 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) in 2008 by FNRI-DOST only 11.6 percent of households is aware of the SPS and the remaining 88.4 percent of households is not aware of the SPS.

Usage of iodized salt based on the 2008 NNS is 78.5 percent awareness level among households but only 41.9 percent was actually using it.

There was also a decrease in the number of households who were aware and were actual users of iodized salt. Awareness level decreased from 83.4 to 78.5 percent from 2005 to 2008. Actual utilization of iodized salt, reduced from 49.2 to 41.9 percent in the two reference years.

Based on the data, it is evident that there is really a need to increase the awareness level of the public on the benefits of fortified foods.

One proof that food fortification can really address a malnutrition problem is a study done by the FNRI-DOST.

In a study led by Dr. Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, 1009 schoolchildren 6 to 12 years old from two randomly-selected school in Tacloban City, Leyte were fed with ready-to-drink juice fortified with iron, zinc, lysine, vitamin A and C for 120 days.

Before and after the feeding, data on hemoglobin level, weight and height were collected.

Based on the results, the prevalence of anemia significantly decreased after 120 days of feeding while the average change in weight and height significantly increased.

This is proof that food fortification is an effective strategy in fighting malnutrition.

Let us not underestimate the power of food fortification because it contributes largely to the eradication of micronutrient deficiencies.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City. E-mail: mcv@fnri.dost.gov.ph, Telefax: 837-2934 and 827-3164, or call: 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST/PIA-Caraga)