Project Lead(s): David McMillen
Nearly half of Filipino households fail to reach desired daily protein consumption levels, and 35 percent of children under 5 in the Philippines suffer from anemia.
Innovators with the University of Toronto will address this challenge by producing instant ramen supplemented with Spirulina, a nutrient-rich alga providing far more protein per gram than meats or plant sources, all essential amino acids, high iron, and vitamins A, B12, and K. The alga will be added to the flavour packets of the dried instant noodles, which are commonly eaten by local children but lacking in nutrition.
Spirulina thrives in warm water and the project will produce the alga locally by developing production methods based on simple, locally-available resources, such as cement ponds and plastic tubs. The process will be designed to integrate into the local lifestyle, emphasizing methods implementable by mothers while caring for young children and allowing a group of women to run a pilot cooperative-style business at the initial test site, Napsan, a village in Palawan.
Once sustainable local production is established in Napsan, the model will be exported to other villages. If production exceeds what is required locally, the product will be exported to high-end markets in Manila or Canada, creating economic opportunities for local mothers.