A natural drink made from local fruits and vegetables intended to boost the immune system is among the products of a nationwide push among public universities to contribute to the fight against the novel coronavirus.
The Eastern Visayas State University has begun distributing to frontline personnel and volunteers in Leyte province the drink it dubbed "ExCITE", which stands for "Extinguishing Communicable Infection Through Edible plant source".
ExCITE was produced from carrot extract, malunggay, and calamansi and developed by the Eastern Visayas Food Innovation Center within the university, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) said in a statement.
With the ingredients, the ExCITE drink is said to contain nutrients like iron, vitamin C, potassium, beta-carotene and calcium that are needed to build up a person's immunity.
Over 2,000 bottles of the drink have been donated by the university to police and watchmen serving at Leyte checkpoints, health and social welfare personnel in Tacloban City, volunteers at the relocation sites for survivors of Typhoon Yolanda, religious order members, and government workers from the environment and science departments' regional offices.
The drinks are kept chilled to retain freshness.
Nutritionists, food technologists and home economists from Eastern Visayas State University's College of Home Technology are working to produce more bottles of the ExCITE.
CHEd has been encouraging state universities and colleges or SUCs throughout the Philippines to come up with initiatives to help address COVID-19 concerns in their communities.
The commission said it will soon be funding SUCs to increase their production of homegrown innovations like the ExCITE drink.