UPV highlights emergency seafood-based product in international conference

During calamities, ready-to-eat food such as canned foods and noodles are commonly distributed as they can be consumed with little preparation. However, its high salt content poses health risks.

Thus, the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) is developing nutritious emergency products using underutilized fish species and incorporating environment-friendly packaging material. 

Driven to create culinary innovation of delectable Filipino fish-based soups, among the products developed was the single-serving instant Tinolang Isda and Sinigang na Isda using local fish species such as salay-salay and matam-baka. The products’ powdered seasoning is enclosed in water-soluble bioplastic derived from seaweed–not only addressing the nutritional needs of disaster victims but also promoting sustainable practices and plastic waste reduction.

The product bears the brand name SOS, an acronym for Seafood-on-the-Spot. A known distress signal, SOS, as the brand name, aptly fulfills the products’ intended function as an instant seafood product for emergency situations.

“The potential impact of the project is to revolutionize emergency food aid by providing a convenient, nutritious, and culturally relevant option for Filipino families in times of calamities. The goal is to ensure widespread accessibility of the product, not only during emergencies but also as a convenient meal option for consumers seeking the authentic flavors of traditional Filipino cuisine,” Dr. Encarnacion Emilia S. Yap, project leader said.

The DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research-assisted project was presented in the 7th International Conference for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences on 18-20 October 2023 in Iloilo City as a parallel session and as a new product in the UPV exhibit booth. (### Maria Elena M. Garces)