February 25, 2013
Quality Control Company Laboratory Staff of COCOBOD had three-weeks training on Pesticides residue Analysis.
This training was organised to improve the technique for residue analysis, in order to attain a level comparable to Japanese standards which is one of the highest in the world. Ghana is Japan's biggest supplier of cacao as 80% of Cacao processed in Japan for chocolate products comes from Ghana. In 2006 however, large quantity of cacao from Ghana was rejected and seized at the quarantine in Japan due to chemical residue contained in the cacao. COCOBOD in conjunction with GSA pulled successful efforts together to ensure a significant reduction in the rejection of Ghana cocoa in recent years.
The objective of this train is to enhance the skills of the Quality Control Company Limited (QCCL) Laboratory technicians to enable them conduct pesticide residue analysis specifically using the Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Mr. Sakaguchi, Pesticide Residue Analysis Expert worked at the QCCL Laboratory in Tema, where he trained laboratory technicians. He also explored possible areas of future cooperation between Japan and Ghana regarding cacao.
Pesticide residue analysis for exported cacao has all along been carried out by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA). Recently, QCCL procured three sets of GCMS and HPLC equipment. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with the Chocolate Cocoa Association of Japan (CCAJ) dispatched the expert, Mr. Sakaguchi for this training. CCAJ supported procurement of reagents and consumable materials to conduct training by the expert and QCCL has been adequately resourced staff and materials and is more than ready to take part in this cacao residue analysis.