A bowl of Arroz Caldo. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Istock

Manila: Filipino experts have developed a rice-based ready-to-eat meal that will serve as emergency food in calamity-hit areas of the country.

According to Nelia Elisa Florendo, chief of the Technological Services Division of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST-ITDI), the experts have developed a ready-to-eat (RTE) Arroz Caldo, or rice porridge meal, that would serve as emergency sustenance during times of calamity, when cooking food is difficult.

The Philippines is a country visited by about 20 cyclones every year, in addition to earthquakes and man-made calamities such as human conflict. Having emergency sustenance in the form of food and water will greatly improve disaster response.

Packaged in pouches, RTE Arroz Caldo has a shelf life of one year and can be eaten without cooking unlike instant noodles and canned food that require water and a heat source to be cooked.

According to Florendo ITDI is working with a private firm, Kai-Anya Food Inc. to further improve the RTE Arroz Caldo.

Arroz Caldo is a common, Filipino rice-based chicken soup meal.

According to Florendo, the experts are working on processing Halal certification for the emergency meal so that it could also be distributed to Muslim areas hit by calamities.

It can be recalled that during periods when disaster strike Muslim areas, emergency responders encounter difficulties since some calamity victims would ask for Halal food.

The RTE Arroz Caldo is being sold to the Department of Social Welfare Development which distributes it as emergency relief goods for victims of disasters/calamities in the country.

The social welfare department have warehouses across the country where relief goods are stored.

The ITDI serves one of the pillars that laid the groundwork for science and technology in the country. It undertakes multidisciplinary industrial research and development, technical services, and knowledge translation or technology transfer and commercialization.