Aboitiz Unit Prepares Miracle Food

When one thinks of relief goods, an assortment of grocery items automatically come to mind: Canned goods, sacks of rice, instant noodles. Biscuits—though easier to transport, store and consume—would most likely be last or absent on the list.

But Pilmico Foods Corporation, the food subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, wants to change that mindset through its latest innovation: vanilla-flavored “high-energy biscuits” which are loaded with the vitamins and minerals one would need in case there’s a lack of access to regular sources of food, especially during calamities.

Aptly, the pack, called The Care Package, was launched last September in Ormoc, Leyte, which was one of the most devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in 2013.

Maribeth Marasigan, Pilmico first vice president and chief resource officer, hopes The Care Package, sold at P35 each, will be patronized by both government organizations and private corporations involved in disaster relief operations.

“Our general thrust is to improve the way relief operations are done today—make it easier for both the donors and beneficiaries,” says Marasigan.

Packed with 450 kilocalories, Marasigan says a packet of Pilmico’s high-energy biscuits is already equivalent to one full meal.

Another component of The Care Package? It is also meant to combat malnutrition, a pervasive and persistent problem all over the country.

“We found that when disaster strikes, we also encounter malnutrition. Those two areas are very important for Pilmico Foods. It’s associated with relief, but it’s also much more than that,” says Elio Machillanda, president of GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, Inc. (GMCI), who collaborated with Pilmico to create The Care Package, which took two years of research and development.

“This follows the standard of the World Food Program (WFP), which is why it took us a while because we really needed to find the right formulation and then get the [WFP] certification,” Marasigan said.

The biscuits also have a long shelf life—12 months—making them easy to store. “And it is being continuously produced, not just when disaster strikes,” Machillanda adds.

Originally posted: Inquirer.net