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Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa

Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa

MANILA, Philippines — Google Doodle paid tribute to Filipina food scientist, war hero, and humanitarian María Ylagan Orosa on her 126th birth anniversary on Friday, November 29.

In Doodle’s feature, it noted that the Taal, Batangas-born culinary expert was credited with over 700 recipes, including the iconic local condiment banana ketchup.

A graduate of pharmaceutical and food chemistry from the University of Seattle, Orosa returned to the Philippines in 1922 to focus on addressing the problem of malnutrition, according to Doodle.

Apart from her famous banana ketchup, Orosa’s culinary innovations also include the palayok oven, as well as soyalac (a nutrient-rich drink derived from soya beans) and rarak (rice cookies packed with vitamin B-1, which could also prevent beriberi disease) which had saved countless lives during World War II.

“In recognition of Orosa’s contributions to Filipino society, the National Historical Institute installed a marker in her honor at the Bureau of Plant Industry in Manila in 1983,” the feature read.

The marker described her as the first Filipino woman scientist, founder of Home Extension Service in the Philippines in 1922 and a guerilla during the Japanese occupation who died in the line of duty.

She died on February 13, 1945, after a shrapnel shard pierced her heart during an American bombing raid.

GSG