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Workers cleaning the pouches before putting products in the Fully Automatic Double Layer Sterilization Retort

A woman-led enterprise assisted by the Department of Science and Technology-Misamis Oriental, for the second time under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), now employs more than 60 local workers, mostly housewives. During peak production, the firm employs more than 70 persons including on-calls.

Bestfriend Goodies established its second production facility dedicated to the production of Enhanced Nutribun (eNutribun), a technology of DOST Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).

As the firm pivots from producing pasalubong products before the COVID-19 pandemic, Bestfriend Goodies now concentrates on Ready-To-Eat (RTE) nutritious foods. The firm sought further assistance from DOST for adopting five more RTE technologies: Arrozcaldo, Binignit, Champorado, Chicken Tinola, and Monggo with Dilis in pouches. The S&T intervention also includes the provision of the equipment: Fully Automatic Double Layer Sterilization Retort.

"This project does not only improve the economic status by employing the locals but helps empower employed housewives," said DOST-Misamis Oriental Provincial Director Junelyn-Louvena Ruiz.

There is now a sustainable supply for RTE nutritious food in the region for undernourished children, nutritionally at-risk pregnant and lactating women, food packs during calamities, and support to feeding programs by the government and NGOs as this is the first RTE Technology Manufacturing Facility in Mindanao. (Julie Anne Baculio and Junelyn-Louvena Ruiz, DOST-Misamis Oriental)