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TSL Client Gets Commendation

TSL Client Gets Commendation

TSL Client Gets Commendation

By Rochelle Williams, TSL

The Guyana Analyst-Food and Drug Division (GA-FDD) has been commended for their action and vigilance in protecting the Guyanese industry and consumers from food fraud. This is subsequent to training and support received from Technological Solutions Limited’s  Mr. James Kerr and Dr. André Gordon, advising the Executive Director and the GA-FDD team on best practices in handling labeling, food fraud and other attempts to deceive the consumer and compete unfairly with established businesses.

In a press release dated March 26 2017, it was reported that Guyanese distributor of Brunswick® Tuna, Beepats, supported the government’s efforts to block deceptive products. Beepats thanked the government for exercising vigilance and taking swift action in identifying and blocking food products thought to be false,  misleading and deceptively labelled, from entering the country.

The media report noted that a joint effort between GA-FDD and the Guyana Customs and Trade Administration (GTA) prohibited the distribution of bogus canned tuna from China, which had noncompliant labels that closely resembled the label for Brunswick®  Flaked Tuna in Oil. This appeared to be an attempt to mislead the consumers into thinking that the product was a legitimate Brunswick® product.

The government advised the public to “take a second look” on their labels to ensure that the country of origin and name and address of the manufacturer were present on the products being purchased.

TSL was contracted to undertake a comprehensive audit and training program for GA-FDD from September 21 to October 1, 2015.  The extensive workshop prepared and delivered to selected employees of GA-FDD included:

  • Introduction to HACCP and basic microbiology
  • Certification Systems in the Food Industry
  • Market requirements for products intended for certain markets
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and Pre-Requisite Programs (PRPs)
  • Product development, packaging and labelling requirements for Canada, United States of America and Europe/United Kingdom.

In addition to the list of topics above, analysts were trained in theory of several chemical and microbiological analyses. Two sets of analysts were also flown to Jamaica in early 2016 to be trained at TSL’s Testing Laboratory in selected analyses which will be performed routinely at GA-FDD.

With the knowledge garnered from the training, representatives of the government were able to spot the irregularities of the fraudulent product and advise the nation of its presence in the  market

Research On Bottled Coconut Water Sets Standard For Industry

Research On Bottled Coconut Water Sets Standard For Industry

Research On Bottled Coconut Water Sets Standard For Industry

Research on Coconut receives Citation from ResearchGate

Coconuts (Cocos nucifera L) have been around for centuries and are considered a super food. They are one of the few plants where just about every part of the plant is utilized. The leaves and trunks are used for furniture, the fibrous husk provides coir, charcoal is made from the hard shell, and throughout the various stages of maturation the “meat” or jelly is utilized for a variety of purposes ranging from food to cosmetics. Coconuts are commonly harvested for coconut water and other products, with coconut water being the most widely consumed coconut product. Today, it is a growing global industry worth over US$300 Million, and as such, the coconut industry is an important industrial sector in many developing countries.

In an in-depth analysis of coconut water Dr. Gordon, in collaboration with other scientists based internationally, conducted research on the Changes in the Chemical Composition of Coconut (Cocus nucifera) Water During Maturation of the Fruit.   The research examined the factors affecting the quality and shelf life of coconut water distributed by traditional refrigerated coconut water bottlers. It also examined the process from harvesting to bottling and documented the issues influencing the production of quality, safe coconut water in the Caribbean. The outcome was recommendations for changes in practices, the implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices and technical solutions that resulted in a reduction in spoilage and an increase of shelf life from 2–3 to 7–10 days for producers of traditional refrigerated bottled coconut water.

This research formed the basis of a guidance document published by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) that is being used globally by the Coconut Water Industry.

In late 2016, Dr. Gordon received commendation from ResearchGate, the number one networking site for scientists and published researchers for the fact that the article was cited over 50 times in international research literature.

In his most recent publication – Food Safety and Quality Systems in Developing Countries: Volume II: Case Studies of Effective Implementation, Dr. Gordon also dedicated a chapter to looking at the production of Coconut Water and the science behind it.

Regional Agro Processing Industry Gets International Support

Regional Agro Processing Industry Gets International Support

Regional Agro Processing Industry Gets International Support

REGIONAL AGRO PROCESSING INDUSTRY GETS INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT

The region’s agro-processing industry got another boost through the coordination and execution of the European Union funded project – Promotion of the Agro-Tourism sector in the Caribbean Region. Technological Solutions Limited, in partnership with Madrid-based firm, Prysma, led on this project, with Dr. André Gordon being Team Leader.

Valued at approximately Euro 181,500, the programme was designed to provide support over a ten (10) month period to the Caribbean Agri-Business Association (CABA) (the body established to support the regional Agribusiness industry), as well as ten (10) beneficiary companies. Under the project, the 10 small exporting firms in the sauces and spices, baked goods, produce, seafood and processed vegetables sub-sectors from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago received support to enable them to improve their food safety systems in order to enhance their exporting opportunities, with two of the beneficiary companies attaining certification to GFSI standards.

A significant activity of the project was the hosting of a workshop and buyer/seller forum where buyers, primarily from Europe, North America and selected regional distributors and hotels and restaurant buyers met with the beneficiary companies in one-on-one buyer/seller discussions.

The primary beneficiary under this project, CABA, coordinated the support to strengthen the agribusiness firms’ ability to export through improved systems and capabilities. TSL’s Managing Director Dr. Andre Gordon noted that the regional food industry continues to make positive strides globally and any initiative to strengthen the sector and open opportunities for the manufacturers is welcome.  Two of the firms, Tijule and Island Packers, both from Jamaica, achieved FSSC 22000 and SQF certification, respectively.