FOOD SAFETY CENTER TO STRENGTHEN BUSINESSES COMPETITIVENESS
THE INITIATIVE WILL BRING GREAT BENEFITS TO THE AGRO-FOOD INDUSTRY, OFFERING MULTIRESIDUE ANALYSIS SERVICES FOR PESTICIDES IN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.
May 5, 2017
Contributions from the Regional Government and private industry are committed for the implementation of the "Determination of Pollution by Pesticides and Fertilizers in Horticultural Species, Soil and Irrigation Water of the Maule Region" project, one of the thirteen initiatives of the University that were approved by the Innovation Fund for Regional Competitiveness (FIC-R) 2016.
This project, submitted by the Center for Food Safety, was awarded two hundred million pesos (US$ 300,000, approx.) from the Maule Regional Government and also gathered a financing of 21 million (US$ 30,000, approx.) with contributions from entities associated to the initiative, involving the Maule Valley berries company and Regsa Ltda.
Strengthening the competitiveness of the agro-food companies of the Maule Region is the main objective of the research to be carried out by the Center to establish a multiresidues analysis service of pesticides or chemicals that are applied to the different types of pest management in horticultural crops.
"We will generate a cartographic representation on the absence or presence of contamination in the 30 counties of the Maule Region. This will generate a territorial impact, since it will collect information on the residual levels of pesticides and fertilizers in horticultural areas. These results will be useful for future regional public policies in the areas of food and public health," explained the director of the project, Ana Karina Peralta, who will work with a research team comprised of Eddie War, Gilda Carrasco, Cristian Valenzuela and Paula Manríquez.
The initiative, which will be implemented in 24 months, counts with the support of the following participating entities: INDAP’s Regional Bureau, the Maule Seremi of Health and the German company Erlenbacher, which buys more than 500 tons of frozen berries from the region to make cakes and desserts. The German group BASF, which produces chemicals and crop protection, also participates.
"We Will Create a new highly specialized analysis service and requested by more than 50 Exporting companies from the Maule Region. This will strengthen the competitiveness, food safety and quality for the agro-food industry, aligning itself to the regional strategy to be a powerful agro-food player," said the researcher.
This innovative project will position the Region nationally and internationally, since the Center for Food Safety of the UTALCA has comparative advantages with the accreditation of the ISO 17025 standard, which guarantees the technical competence and reliability of analytical results of testing and calibration laboratories.
Together with this, the center is governed by international regulations led by the United States through the FSMA, which includes the modernization of the law on food safety. These new rules seek to minimize risks to human health, with the dual purpose of preventing the contamination of food and to protect consumers from diseases that can be transmitted by these.
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