"Nutritious biscuit products have been developed for pregnant women, which also contain soy hydrolyzate, but moringa flour has been added for micronutrients,” expert engineer from BRIN’s Center for Food Technology and Process Research, Noer Laily, said.
Soy hydrolyzate is an ingredient that can be used in several products to increase nutrient absorption and prevent malnutrition, anemia, and childhood stunting.
Mothers who suffer from anemia and have a low body mass index are at risk of giving birth to babies with stunted growth and mental development, Laily said at a webinar on “Talk to Scientists on Research and Innovation for Food and Energy Sovereignty,” which was accessed here on Tuesday.
Since they are made using moringa (Moringa oleifera) flour, the biscuits are rich in micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Moringa is also high in carbohydrates and has active antioxidants, she said.
It is also known for its immunostimulant potential. An immunostimulant is a compound that can modulate the immune system, and thereby, increase the body's immunity.
Moringa leaves contain macronutrients and micronutrients such as proteins, vitamins A, C, E, B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, and are rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and zinc, she said.
The nutritious biscuits have already been produced on an industrial scale, and currently, they are being tested for efficacy in pregnant women with anemia or chronic energy deficiency. The scale of production has reached 300 kilograms per batch.
The nutritional composition of the biscuits is in accordance with the provision on additional foods for pregnant women stipulated by the Health Minister’s Regulation Number 51 of 2016.
According to the Health Ministry, 5 out of 10 pregnant women in Indonesia who suffer from anemia, or lack of blood, are at risk of giving birth to stunted children.
Stunting is a condition wherein a child fails to get good nutrition or suffers from chronic malnutrition in the early stages of growth. Stunted children are usually shorter than the normal height for their age.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that pregnant women consume nutritious food and supplements to get adequate nutrition.
The government is committed to preventing and resolving the stunting problem to create healthy and high-quality future generations who can contribute their best to national progress and development.
The nutritious biscuits for pregnant women, which have been developed through research and innovation, are proof of the government's efforts to reduce the stunting rate.
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Translator: Martha H S, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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