World-class quality testing can now be enjoyed by fish farmers and researchers for their feeds and water samples at the Centralized Analytical Laboratory (CAL) of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) in Tigbauan, Iloilo.
Recently, the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) granted the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation for the biological and chemical testing of the laboratory, which means that the facility meets internationally accepted standards in its analytical procedures and has an effective laboratory quality management system.
Accredited laboratory services include water analyses such as total coliform count, fecal coliform count, pH level, ammonia-nitrogen, nitrite-nitrogen, and phosphate-phosphorus. Also included in the accreditation is the chemical testing of agricultural products and materials for moisture, ash, and crude protein analyses.
CAL, which analyzed almost 2,000 samples in 2020, caters mainly to SEAFDEC/AQD’s own researchers, but also accepts samples from the public.
“CAL’s ISO accreditation is good news to our clients especially the academe. The academe is a major client of our laboratory facilities in conducting chemical and biological tests needed for student research,” said SEAFDEC/AQD Chief Dan Baliao.
Baliao added that they give 20 percent discount on fees as consideration for student researchers.
“We are grateful to our team for working hard to receive the ISO accreditation. This is important to our stakeholders since it gives them confidence that our laboratory is releasing accurate analytical test results,” said Dr. Leobert de la Peña, head of SEAFDEC/AQD’s Research Division.
The ISO advantage
“ISO/IEC 17025:2017 is the most recent version of ISO standard for testing and calibration laboratories. This specifies the general requirements for the competence, impartiality, and consistent operation of testing and calibration laboratories,” explained Ms. Jeralyn Panizales, officer-in-charge of SEAFDEC/AQD’s Laboratory Facilities for Advanced Aquaculture Technologies where CAL belongs.
The accreditation also shows that the laboratory has the technical competence and provides reliable, accurate, and defensible test results with the highest attainable standard of quality recognized internationally.
“A laboratory with ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation will set it apart from other laboratories since it is an ideal management system model that aims to control quality costs, improve measurement accuracy, and guarantee valid and reliable results,” Panizales added.