Halal verification lab to open more business opportunity

Davao City, Philippines —  There will be more business opportunity on food exportation in Davao City and in the whole Region 11 as the Department of Science and Technology 11 (DOST 11) will open its Halal Verification Laboratory on November 24, 2018.

DOST 11 Assistant Regional Director for Technical Support Service Mirasol Domingo said Halal products have a huge market especially in the Middle East countries which is beneficial to country’s economy.  “We will grab the opportunity that is why we established this facility,” she said.

Domingo added that the opening of the laboratory is a good opportunity for entrepreneurs who are exporting or going to explore Halal food business.  Entrepreneurs who are into the business can use the facility to assure the consumers that the food they purchase are Halal certified.

“With the laboratory, they can really test their products and the buying public will be assured that food they buy which has a Halal certified sticker, is really a Halal certified,” she said.

The P47 million-project will be launched in the city on November 24 and the modern equipment will be showcased to the stakeholders.

DOST Science Research Specialist Rugaya H. Abdullah, one of the facility’s analyst, said the laboratory will have three equipment to ensure that the product is really Halal certified.

Abdullah said there will be a machine that will detect the DNA of pork in a product using real time Polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR), a technique used to monitor the progress of a PCR reaction in real time. At the same time, a relatively small amount of PCR product (DNA, cDNA or RNA) can be quantified.

“Using this, we will be able to trace if the food sample is contaminated by pork or pork derivatives, that even how small it is, it can still be detected,” she said.  The second equipment is a gas chromatograph (GC) which will be used to detect alcohol content in a food product sample. It is an analytical instrument to measure the content of various components in a sample. The analysis performed by a gas chromatograph is called gas chromatography.

“If we say Halal, there is a certain percentage of alcohol content in all food products, ”Abdullah said.  She added that there are some Arab countries which have set alcohol content to guide the entrepreneurs who are exporting their products.

The last equipment is the Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometer which will analyze the fats and oils.  “With this equipment, we will be able to determine if the fats or oils come from pork or bovine,” she said.

Davao City Indigenous People’s mandatory representative Councilor Halila Sudagar lauded the project of DOST 11.  “I am happy with this because we can attract more Muslim investors.  This will be an advantage for the city and the region in terms of business opportunities,” she said. -Armando B. Fenequito Jr.