GHANA – Ghana Standards Authority’s (GSA) Pesticide Residue, Food and Drinks Laboratories has received a boost from the Global Quality Standards Programme (GQSP) which has furnished them with lab equipment and consumables.
The Global Quality Standards Programme is a large-scale programme funded by the Swiss Confederation through the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to assist more than 10 countries worldwide to boost their competitiveness in 14 specific sectors.
This forms part of interventions to expand the scope of accreditation for the respective labs in the determination of pesticide residue in fats and oils (Palm-nut), free fatty acids in cashew nuts and oil palm as well as the determination of peroxide value in palm oil.
Mr. Steve Poku-kwateng, the Deputy Director-General, Operations, received the equipment on behalf of the GSA.
The laboratory department undertakes chemical, physical and organoleptic analysis on various food and agricultural products and produce including drinks to ascertain quality and level of compliance with applicable standards. There are five laboratories under the department which perform various analyses.
There is the food laboratory which undertakes chemical analysis, organoleptic tests etc. on food and agricultural products and produce and the drinks laboratory which perform various chemical analysis and organoleptic tests on beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).
The Mycotoxins and Histamine laboratory performs analysis to ascertain the level of toxins in food products and agricultural produce e.g. cereals and legumes, fish and fishery products. The laboratory is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 in the area of Fish and Fishery products, cereals and cereal products, nuts and derived products.
It also has the Metallic Contaminants Laboratory which perform analysis to ascertain level of contaminants as well as essential and other elements in various products/produce and is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 in the area of heavy metals in Fish and Fishery products.
In addition, there is the Pesticides Residues Laboratory which performs analysis to ascertain level of pesticides residues and other residues including veterinary drug residues as well as active ingredient in formulations.
The laboratory also undertakes analyses for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and related compounds e.g. in smoked fish as well as quantification of level of poisons in various products. The laboratory is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 in the area of low fatty matrices (fruits and Vegetables, cereals etc.)
Through an innovative approach developed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Government of Switzerland – through SECO, GQSP identifies quality-related challenges and makes targeted interventions at every single stage of the value chain, thereby increasing compliance with international market requirements and ultimately helping countries to engage in global trade.