Welcome a new clearinghouse of halal products in the Philippines as the Department of Science and Technology Region 12 opens its halal laboratory at the DOST Compound in Cotabato City.
The newly established laboratory has advanced technology, and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, according to DOST-12 Regional Director Haja Sittie Shayma (Zenaida) P. HR Laidan.
“This is the only existing halal laboratory in the country devoted to serving local and international clients,” said Dr. Laidan. “Its range of services spans the entire supply chain of halal food and selected non-food.”
DOST’s halal laboratory services include profiling of fatty acids of animals and plants; DNA analysis of foods and other processed products; gelatin content analysis of milk and other dairy products; testing of genetically modified organism (GMO); alcohol content analysis of beverages and other related products; qualitative detection of haram in meat products; and detection of lard in bakery products and edible oils, among others.
Among those who will benefit from the establishment of the halal laboratory include several sectors, such as the food and beverage manufacturers and producers, food service outlets, caterers, food distributors and suppliers, food importers and exporters, pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, and other sectors aiming for halal certification.
Said laboratory was established in line with the Philippine Science and Technology Program for the Development of the Halal Industry initiated by Dr. Laidan.
According to Laidan, DOST is the competent authority in the technical aspect of validating compliance of products and services to halal requirements. DOST partnered in this venture with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) which will handle the religious aspect of validation.
Dr. Laidan confirmed that construction of a bigger halal laboratory building, also in South Central Mindanao, has started. This laboratory will respond to the increasing demand of halal products and the flourishing halal industry. She added that, upon completion, this bigger laboratory shall be named “Philippine National Halal Laboratory.”
She emphasized that halal laboratory is very important especially for a non-Muslim country like the Philippines. The laboratory increases the integrity of locally-made halal products and credibility of certifying bodies and local halal product-manufacturers, producers, and processors both for domestic consumption and export trading.
The lab also plays a crucial role in the protection of the Philippine halal market and gaining the trust and confidence of halal consumers especially those from the Islamic countries. “We cannot assure that a particular product is halal using only our naked eyes or senses,” Laidan told. “Only through testing and analyses in our halal laboratory can we guarantee that products claimed as halal are what they claim to be without contamination or adulteration,” she added.
The global halal market value is now estimated at about US$3 trillion dollars. Halal food alone has a commanding market value of US$680 billion annually or 76 percent of the world’s food trade which accounts to US $ 880 per annum. (DOST-12, S&T Media Service)