January 3, 2022. Coconuts are among the main sources of income for the Filipino farmers. One of the products derived from coconut is copra, which is produced by drying the fresh coconut meat.
The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS), through the Technical Services Division (TSD), developed the ‘Technical Bulletin (TB) on Ensuring the Safety and Quality of Copra’.
The document provides substantial information on the safety and quality issues in copra production, as well as the negative health effects of poor-quality copra. The TB also highlights the measures in copra production from harvesting to storage and transport, which will help prevent the occurrence of contamination.
In 2019, the export of copra oil cake reported a volume of 304,600 metric tons, and a value of 60.8 M USD. Despite this success, food safety and quality issues like aflatoxin contamination and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) exposure plague copra production in the Philippines. Copra contamination is caused by a variety of factors, including insufficient drying, improper handling, and poor storage conditions.
In a brief meeting on November 25, 2021, the TB was presented to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) - Trade Information & Relation Division (TIRD) for their comments and recommendations. Ms. Luz Brenda Balibrea, Chief of PCA-TIRD, lauded BAFS’ initiative in developing the document and was hopeful that it will lead to the production of safe and quality copra in the Philippines.
For more information on the Technical Bulletin, visit our website at http://bafs.da.gov.ph/tech_bulletin. ###