Ensuring the welfare concerns and consumer protection concerning to water and food safety and quality, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Western Visayas adjoined the newly established Shelf Life Testing Services in the existing laboratory services of its Regional Standards and Testing Laboratory (RSTL). The DOST VI RSTL also houses the Microbiological Testing Laboratory (MTL), Chemical Testing Laboratory (CTL), and Metrology Laboratory (MTL).

The RSTL plays an active 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, offers assistance to students in terms of consultancy services and use of facilities.

Established since 1987, the MTL and CTL 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 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 accredited by the Department of Health – Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau for water and 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 product’s mode of deterioration and suitability of packaging and simultaneously provide effect of changes in product formulation or processing through its newly established Shelf Life Testing Services. The testing services is available in two methods namely Direct or Real-Time Storage Supply and Temperature-Accelerated.

With longer storage period and provides 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.

The clients of Shelf Life Testing Services will be interviewed and evaluated based on 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 6 sampling times. The newly launched testing services will be offering a 20% discount until the end of 2021.

Currently, the Shelf Life Testing Services accepts fried snack food and bakery products as scope of samples and continuously developing its capability to cater other food products in the future. For more information on the laboratory services of DOST-RSTL, please contact the nearest Provincial S&T Center (PSTC) in your area. You can also contact us in our mobile phone at 0908-891-7085 or local trunkline numbers at (033) 320-0907; (033) 330-1565 Local 108 or email us at rstl@ro6.dost.gov.ph or ord@ro6.dost.gov.ph. (SSalazar, JJMoleño/DOST VI-KMU)