Between February and March next year, the new bienina will begin to be distributed in Colombia, developed with local products to encourage national production and reduce costs in terms of import input.
From the ICBF food production plant with high nutritional value in Sabanagrande, Atlántico, the director of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare, Astrid Cáceres, and the Minister of Agriculture, Jennifer Mojica, presented the new food supplement.
Bienina has cassava and sacha inchi flour, clearly Colombian products. According to officials, there are more than a thousand families, 182 of which are involved in the National Program for the Substitution of Illicit Crops, which will increase their cassava and sacha inchi plants in the production of this new nutritional food.
“This is the first high-level nutritional product with cassava and sacha inchi that we have achieved during this government, and we will continue to work to include more national inputs of foods with a high value of nutrition that we produce and deliver through programs where they are guaranteed… the rights of children and adolescents,” said Astrid Cáceres.
Sacha inchi is a seed that is commonly grown in Putumayo and provides essential fats such as omega-3, which replaces imported linseed oil. Cassava, on the other hand, contributes as a carbohydrate.
“To ensure that the children are fed, what we need to achieve is that enough food is produced in the same territory where they live and it is not imported,” said the ICBF director.
In total, more than 2 million men and women will benefit from this new product.
Bienestina is a nutritional supplement that has been used since 1976 for the country’s most vulnerable population and is part of institutional programs. Since its inception, this food has been fortified with vitamins and minerals such as:
- Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin 6) is necessary for the proper functioning of sugars, fats, and proteins in the body. It is also necessary for the development of the brain and nerves.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): helps the body’s cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also important for heart function and healthy neurons.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) works together with other B vitamins. It is important for body growth and red blood cell production.
- Folate (folic acid, or B9) works with vitamin B12 to help form red blood cells. It is needed for the production of DNA, which controls tissue growth and cellular function
It is a pre-cooked meal based on a mixture of cereals, legumes and whole milk powder, which contains vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids and is easy to prepare.
Bienestina, according to the ICBF itself, is produced in two plants in Colombia, “located in the cities of Sabanagrande (Atlántico) and Cartago (Valle del Cauca).”