Accelerated shelf-life evaluation and nutrition facts computation are now part of Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in region 10, testing and analysis services.

The additional self-life evaluation laboratory is in line with DOST’s thrust of upgrading the facilities and competencies of the regional laboratories.

DOST-X Regional Director Alfonso Alamban said that the added laboratory services is a move by DOST to make Philippine products gain competitive advantage in the international market and at the same time comply with local requirements.

Testing of these products by an internationally-recognized laboratory like that of the DOST assures the consumers that these products are of an international standard.

The DOST-X Standards and Testing Laboratories is the first government regional laboratory in Mindanao and the only one in Northern Mindanao to be granted the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. The accreditation covers quality management system, technical competence traceability and uncertainty of measurements.

At present, the laboratories render services to industries and public and private companies/entities in the examination of their food products, ingredients in the production of food, environmental samples on food (such as swabs, water or wastewater), and the quality of drinking water, seawater and other recreational waters for bacteria, yeast and molds including the pathogens Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus, sanitation indices like E. coli and coliforms.

Specifically, the DOST-X microbiological testing laboratory tests drinking waters for heterotrophic plate count, total coliform count, fecal coliform, E. coli enumeration and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It also analyses food products and raw materials for their aerobic plate count, coliform count, fecal coliform, E.coli enumeration, yeast and molds count, Salmonella detection and Staphylococcus aureus.

Food/Feed products and other raw materials are analyzed for their ash, crude fat, crude fiber, dietary fiber, crude protein, moisture content, calcium, iron, manganese, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, sugars (solid and juices), vitamin C in juices and titrable acidity in liquids.

Fertilizer and plant tissue and soil and related materials are analyzed for their ash, calcium carbonate equivalent, moisture, dry matter, nitrogen, pH, phosphorus and potassium content.

Water and wastewater are analyzed for its alkalinity, 5-day BOD, cadmium, chloride, COD, color, copper, dissolved oxygen, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, nitrate, nitrite, pH, phenol, phosphorus, potassium, salinity (seawater), settleable solids, sodium, sulfate, total dissolved solids, total hardness, total solids, total suspended solids, turbidity, and zinc content.

The existence of the Standards and Testing Laboratories is of big help to exporters and non-exporters in Northern Mindanao as they would no longer go to Manila or other areas to look for laboratories to examine and certify their products.

For inquiries on how avail of the laboratory services, please call these numbers: (88) 8583931 / 3504307 or access the DOST-10 website at http://region10.dost.gov.ph or visit its office at J.V. Serina St., Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City. (DOST 10)

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