DA-BAR-funded Analytical Food Testing Laboratory launched in MSU-GenSan

DA-BAR and Mindanao State University–General Santos inaugurated the newly-upgraded Analytical Food Testing Laboratory at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) Complex, MSU-GSC on 18 October 2022. 

DA-BAR’s OIC-director Dr. Sailila E. Abdula virtually extended his gratitude and support to the university and hoped that the enhanced and upgraded microbiology laboratory will sustainably cater to the microbiological needs of the region. During the ribbon cutting ceremony, he was physically represented by executive assistant and International R4D Relations Unit OIC-head Mara Shyn Valdeabella-Pacunana and selected bureau staff.  

Through the Agricultural Competitiveness and Enhancement Fund (ACEF), PhP 5M worth of equipment and facility were granted to the analytical food testing laboratory. DA-BAR and MSU-GSC saw the opportunity to address the gap in the food processing sector in South Cotabato and the rest of the region being a producer of export quality agri-products such as fresh and canned tuna, shrimp and other seafood, organic fertilizer, fresh fruits, livestock, poultry and meat, and canned and dried fruits. 

One of the prevailing concerns of food processors in the region is the access to rapid, reliable, and cost-effective microbiological services which ensure the quality and safety of the region’s food and agri-based products. The opening of the facility will provide affordable- and certified microbiological services to a wide range of clientele in the region.  

Further, the said facility shall provide continuous innovation in product development, sustainability in resource utilization and additional value to existing technologies; strengthen competence of university graduates as the region’s future think-tank team and human resource; and provide technical support to agro-industries to boost their growth as a business.  

Participants also toured the newly upgraded facility, and learned about the latest technologies procured which are now housed in the facility for analysis-related activities. 

Dr. Remedios S. Flamiano, one of the proponents of the project, presented the services to be offered by the facility which include aerobic plate count, coliform count, fecal coliform count, yeasts and molds count, staphylococcus aureus detection, food-borne pathogen detection (Salmonella, Listeria E. coli O157 (including H7), Campylobacter, and Cronobacter), pH, and food sugar content. Also, the project was able to provide technical support to the university’s graduate and undergraduate students, higher education institutions, city’s K-12 students, researchers, small and medium-sized enterprises, and food and canning industries through the conduct of seminar-workshops and training, and related services. (### Kenny Bryalle B. Mendez)