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MSMEs in Ibaan gear up for packaging and label design improvement, make one-on-one consultation with DOST experts

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Seventeen MSMEs in the Municipality of Ibaan, Batangas are now ready to improve their products’ packaging and label design according to mandatory requirements and standards they learned from the Department and Science and Technology (DOST)-led training and one-on-one consultation in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Ibaan, Batangas held at this municipality’s town hall, April 14.

The training was designed in a two-part discussion format, one for packaging technology and the other one for mandatory labelling requirements. Session on packaging technology covered the definition and functions of food packaging, factors in selecting product packaging, food packaging materials, packaging material tests, and food packaging techniques. Several innovations on products’ packaging were also discussed. The discussion pursued using a virtual platform where Ms. Lorelie Dorado, Science Research Specialist II of DOST CALABARZON Regional Standards and Testing Laboratory, served as speaker.

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Discussion on mandatory labelling requirements, on the other hand, covered definitions and objectives of label, mandatory label information common in all countries and according to Codex Alimentarius, parts of label, and the “Rules and Regulations Governing the Labeling of Prepackaged Food Products Distributed in the Philippines”. Specifically, the discussion focused on the mandatory label information which consists of 1) product name; 2) brand name/trade name (as per consumer act); 3) list of ingredients; 4) net content declaration; 5) name and address of manufacturer, repacker, importer, trader, and distributor and country of origin; 6) lot identification number; 7) storage condition; expiration date; 9) food allergen information; 10) direction/instruction for use; and 11) nutrition facts/nutrition information/nutritive value. Other required information including alcoholic beverages, irradiated foods, additional information, and language were also explained during the discussion. Mr. John Michael A. Florendo, Science Research Specialist I of DOST Batangas, served as the speaker for this session conducted on-site.

To strengthen further the capacity of participating MSMEs on improving their products’ packaging and label design, a one-on-one consultation with the resource speakers was carried out. Participating MSMEs have brought with them their individual products which were subjected to packaging and labelling evaluation. Aspects to improve were identified during the consultation. MSMEs also took advantage of the platform to ask for innovations they can make on their products including the execution of nutrition facts analysis and shelf-life testing. Products evaluated include the famous tamales of Ibaan, puto, suman malagkit, baked goodies, bread, sinaing na tulingan, sandwich spreads, chicharon, leche flan, textile, soap, and agricultural products.

Participating MSMEs were grouped and given time schedule for the training and consultation in light of the imposed health and safety protocols related to COVID-19 pandemic. Municipal Mayor, Hon. Joy Salvame, also graced the activity and extended her utmost appreciation to DOST for its consistent support in their efforts to develop their homegrown MSMEs. Nonetheless, she encouraged the participating MSMEs to continue advancing their individual businesses. She also assured them that the LGU is with them in pursuing their business goals and development.

For years now, DOST empowers MSMEs to create a competitive brand through strengthening their products’ packaging and labeling design. Packaging and Labeling Services of the agency aims to assist MSMEs in the development of package design, technical consultancy for the improvement of packaging system thru proper labeling and packaging, nutrition facts analysis, shelf-life testing, and training. MSMEs in need of this assistance may send request to DOST Batangas or to any DOST Office near them.|

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