Google Pays Tribute to Filipina Scientist Who Invented Banana Ketchup and Saved Thousands of Lives - The Daily Sentry

Google Pays Tribute to Filipina Scientist Who Invented Banana Ketchup and Saved Thousands of Lives

Photo credit to Google 

She Invented Banana Ketchup and Saved Thousands of Lives. Who is She? 

If you grew up in Manila, the name Maria Orosa will somewhat sound familiar. Why? Because it is one of Manila's pretty famous and busy street near T.M. Kalaw and Robinson's Place Ermita.

But little did everybody know that it is the same name of a Filipina food chemist and innovator, who invented a banana sauce with mashed bananas, vinegars, and spices, today known as Banana Ketchup.

Photo credit to Esquire Philippines

Orosa's banana ketchup was said to be just a part of her great and many contributions to food history, because her creations were allegedly intended to deliver self-sufficiency and empowerment for her country.

Aside to this, she was said to help solved the malnutrition problem of the Philippines, and was credited with the invention of the palayok oven that helped people in remote villages to cook over an open fire.

Now, in commemoration of her 126th birthday which is today, November 29, 2019, Google Doodle features the food technologist who is also a veteran war hero and humanitarian.

Maria Orosa was a Batangueña through and through. She was sent to the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.A. in 1916 under a partial government scholarship and completed undergraduate and graduate studies in pharmaceutical chemistry and threw in a degree in food chemistry.

Upon her return to the Philippines in 1922, she helped solved the country's malnutrition problem and empowered the Filipino family by teaching other women how to raise poultry and preserve food, as well as how to prepare and plan meals.

Maria Orosa | Photo credit to Manila Bulletin

She used her background in food chemistry to run experiments in fermenting, dehydrating, and preserving native plants and animals. The innovations that emerged are said to still be used in laboratories today. The ultimate goal? Make the Philippines more self-sufficient and sustaining.

Some of Maria’s most known contributions to the food world came during World War II. She was beloved within Filipino households for her banana ketchup, but said to become a war hero for her two other inventions: Soyalac and Darak.

Soyalac is a protein-rich, highly nutritious powdered soybean product. Darak is a rice by-product that is high in B vitamins, thiamine, and vitamins A, D, and E, intended to fight the vitamin B deficiency disease, beriberi.

And now to honor the late Maria Orosa, Google Philippines Country Director, Bernadette Nacario said that they hope this doodle inspires more budding scientists at the present time, and will serve as a reminder for every Filipina to seek their interests and use their abilities for the good of all.

"We hope that this serves as a reminder for Filipinas to pursue their passions and use their talent and skills for the greater good," Nacario said.

Source: Esquire Philippines, Food 52