Ensuring the welfare concerns and consumer protection on water and food safety and quality, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Western Visayas or DOST Region VI (DOST-VI) included the newly established Shelf Life Testing Services in the existing laboratory services of its Regional Standards and Testing Laboratory (RSTL). With this, the DOST-VI RSTL also houses the Microbiological Testing Laboratory (MTL), Chemical Testing Laboratory (CTL), and Metrology Laboratory (MTL).
The RSTL plays a vital role in providing laboratory testing and calibration services to industries, academe, local government units, private institutions and individuals in Western Visayas and at the same time it offers assistance to students in terms of consultancy services and the use of facilities.
Established since 1987, the MTL and CTL, on the other hand, ensure quality testing services where DOST’s highly trained and competent food technologists and laboratory analysts provide specialized testing on food samples such as yeasts and mold count, detection of salmonella, and fecal coliform count.
Meanwhile, the Metrology Laboratory is specifically designed to cater to the various calibration services which requires the use of a measuring instrument, be it in scientific, industrial, or commercial applications to indicate precise results.
Serving thousands of clients in various industries, these laboratories are duly accredited by the Department of Health – Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau for water and the Food and Drug Administration for food. Likewise, it is also accredited by the Department of Trade and Industry – Philippine Accreditation Bureau (DTI-PAB) based on the requirements of ISO/EIC 17025:2017, including its calibration services.
Continuing the commitment to provide timely and value-added services, the RSTL now determines the product’s mode of deterioration and suitability of packaging and simultaneously provide effect of changes in product formulation or processing through the newly established Shelf Life Testing Services. The testing services are available in two methods, namely Direct or Real-Time Storage Supply and Temperature-Accelerated.
With longer storage period and providing more accuracy, the Direct Method depends on the target shelf life at the actual storage conditions. On the other hand, the Temperature-Accelerated Method uses elevated temperatures to speed up reaction rates or deterioration and provides an estimated shelf life.
Prior to actual testing of the products, the clients of the Shelf Life Testing Services will be interviewed and evaluated based on the list of ingredients, processing method, specific material used, target shelf life (limited to 3-6 months), storage conditions where only ambient will be accepted, mode of deterioration, initial results for microbiological and chemical analysis, and capability to supply the needed number of packed product samples from a single batch.
The initial price offering is at Php20,000 based on computed analyses required for microbiological, chemical and sensory parameters within a 6-month storage period, having a minimum of six sampling times. The newly launched testing services will be offering a 20% discount until the end of 2021.