DOST IX testing equipment upgrade perks up Zambo's fishmeal sector
By thelma e. diego
Science Research Specialist II, DOST IX
Zamboanga’s thriving fish canning industry is expected to achieve improved cash flow following an agreement between the city government led by Mayor Celso L. Lobregat, and the Department of Science and Technology—Regional Office IX to jointly implement the project called “Enhancing Laboratory Support Services to the Fish Canning Industry – Fishmeal Sector”. The project received funding support from Senator Juan Flavier’s office.
A protein digestion system equipment was acquired under the project to augment existing equipment at DOST IX laboratory. This will enhance analytical testing and timely release of results that could boost the fish processing sector’s compliance with quality requirements of local and international markets.
Some of the city’s fish processing plants generate value-added by-product in the form of fishmeal, a thick powder obtained from cooking, drying, and grinding raw or thrash fish.
Fishmeal is a rich protein source and is used as ingredient in feedstuffs in aquaculture, dairy, and poultry industries. It is graded based on its protein content.
Data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics revealed that the country imported 44,567 MT of fishmeal in 2004, which represents a chunk of opportunity for local processors.
Fishmeal accounted for about 40% of 732 samples received for chemical testing last year at the DOST IX’s Regional Standards and Testing Laboratories. Tests on fishmeal are expected to increase this year. STP