FNRI warns Dabawenyos on plumped-up chicken

By Lovely A. Carillo

DAVAO City––The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) has warned Dabawenyos about the dangers of buying plumped-up chicken or those enhanced on injected with liquids to make the chicken heavy.

Consumers are known to flock to the cheap fried chicken stalls that have mushroomed in almost all parts of the city because of their convenience and affordability.

However, the FNRI warned, what consumers perceive as a cheap and filling lunch or dinner may be dangerous for their health.

“The process of injecting raw chicken meat with salt water, chicken stock or seaweed extract is done in the United States for tastier and juicier meat,” FNRO Chief Science Research Specialist Zenaida Narciso said during the recent NUTRICOMNET Meeting and Media Forum here.

But in the Philippines, she said, unscrupulous businessmen inject dressed chicken with water to add weight to their meat.

Narciso said plumped chicken can contain 200 to 500 mg of sodium per serving compared to the 45 to 70 mg of sodium in unplumped chicken. This increases the risk of hypertension and heart attack among consumers who eat these products, she added.

She said plumped chicken are also more expensive for consumers because of the additional 15-39 percent additional weight which can be an added cost.

Plumping of chicken remains unregulated in the Philippines so consumers are not sure of the safety of the solution used for plumping, she said.

Plumped chicken can easily fool consumers, she added, because these are commonly labeled as all-natural, 100 percent natural or enhanced up to 15 percent chicken broth.

“Natural and enhanced chicken labels are misleading; it is not natural for chicken to grow with carageenan or salt in the vessels,” she said.

She said it is important to be cautious of the brand of chicken that consumers buy if only to make sure that these are safe for consumption.

However, she added, people tend to choose the cheaper products thinking that they get more value for their money when they get them.

Meanwhile, San Miguel Pure Food (SMPF) Wellbeing Manager, Llena T. Arcenas said they don’t inject their chicken with liquid.

She said the company has embarked on a well-being program to ensure that even their employees are knowledgeable about what their products contain.

Arcenas said they are looking at over 1,000 Well-Being Warriors (WBW) from their own roster of employees to disseminate the value of nutrition, healthy lifestyle and the importance of label reading not only to their families but also to the community. (PNA)

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