UPLB-IHNF showcases nixtamalized products in DA-BAR webinar

Described as one of the most important crops in the Philippines, bulk of corn produced is utilized as animal feeds and contributes a lot of industrial uses. Despite its nutritional profile, its utilization as human food and source of essential nutrients is quite low. Thus, the University of the Philippines Los Banos-Institute of Human Nutrition and Food (UPLB-IHNF) presented its developed nixtamalized Philippine corn for food, health, and nutrition during the DA-BAR webinar on 16 February 2023 through Cisco Webex.

Nixtamalization is a process that enhances the nutritional quality of corn, hence its products. Dried corn kernel is boiled in a water containing alkaline solution to soften and enhance its nutritional value. This process helps in increasing mineral contents of alkaline-cooked maize such as calcium and iron. This can help manage micronutrient malnutrition like iron-deficiency anemia, which is among the major public health concerns of the country. Food products made with nixtamalized corn can also be a good alternative and affordable source of calcium in the diet.

Funded by DA-BAR, the institute was able to produce high-value food products such as fermented beverages with 50% corn milk and  pandesal and loaf bread with 30% and 5% Philippine Nixtamalized Corn (PhiNixC) flour, respectively. Recipes of popular Filipino delicacies such as karioka, palitaw, buchi, and espasol were also modified by adding PhiNixC flour.

Aside from its mineral contents, products made from nixtamalized flour showed lower microbial growth trends and better physical attributes. It was also found that nixtamalized IPB Var 6 corn products have the potential to lower blood lipid through cholesterol micellar inhibition.

“It (nixtamalized corn) has the potential to control blood sugar. There are already published articles about IPB Var 6 consumption,” said project leader Dr. Clarissa B. Juanico when asked about its benefits for people with Type 2 diabetes. However, further research is needed to further strengthen the claim.

The UPLB-IHNF team aims to share optimized nixtamalization technology and train potential adaptors for commercialization as part of their Phase 2 plan.

“We will also be promoting the consumption of nixtamalized corn and products as part of our marketing strategy,” said Dr. Juanico.

“We also aim to apply nixtamalization on different corn varieties such as pigmented corn,” she ended. (### Diwa J. Velasquez)


For more information:

Dr. Clarissa B. Juanico

University of the Philippines Los Baños

Institute of Human Nutrition and Food

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