Prepared Foods May 2, 2005 enewsletter

The Philippines’ Food and Nutrition Research of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) has developed a canton noodle fortified with seaweed as part of its efforts to solve iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) in the country.

The FNRI-DOST said the noodles fortified with "lato and guso," which are common especially along the coastal areas in the country, have been found to contain the amount of iodine needed by the body.

It noted that the canton noodle fortified with guso contains 11% protein and 112 microgram (ug) iodine per 100g serving. The canton noodle with lato, on the other hand, contains 12% protein and 346 iodine per 100g.

The FNRI-DOST said the consumption of 30g of noodles with guso and lato will provide 22% and 71%, respectively, of the recommended energy nutrient intake (RENI) of iodine for 30- to 49-year-old adults.

The canton noodle with seaweed is a value-added health food because it uses natural iodine from seaweed, the FNRI-DOST said.

Iodine is a micronutrient, or a mineral needed by the body in small quantities. It is needed by the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones that regulate body temperature, muscle and nerve activities, metabolic rate, and growth and reproduction.

Iodine deficiency can cause continuous growth of the thyroid gland, eventually leading to an enlarged thyroid gland or goiter.

The FNRI-DOST said it was been motivated to develop enriched noodles because their surveys showed that noodles are becoming popular among the masses. It said iodine-rich canton noodles with lato and guso are nutritious, safe and could be sold at affordable prices.

The FNRI-DOST said it is now ready to transfer the technology to interested entrepreneurs for commercial production and distribution.