The Government of Pará inaugurated this Friday, 12, the Milk Quality Lab, the first of its kind to enter into operation in the northern region and the most modern in Brazil. Installed in the Guamá Science and Technology Park (Guamá STP), the laboratory is an important tool for dairy industries and producers in Pará, contributing to the increase of productivity rates, improving the quality of raw materials and derived products.
Governor Simão Jatene recalled that the implementation of the space is an old demand of local producers who value the quality of the raw material and the products that use them. “It comes to fill a gap that was the dream of many. With this laboratory it is possible to have a safe analysis of the milk, and you have a greater value added and with that, better price, better remuneration”, said the governor, citing that the initiative is another step in the Pará 2030 Plan , Which aims at the economic development of the state with employment and income generation, through the triple revolution through knowledge, production and new forms of management and governance.
“Here we are experimenting in practice Pará 2030, with concrete examples of the three pillars that I consider fundamental for the construction of a new Amazon. The knowledge being used so that we can have a quality product that gives food security to the people, and that allows the milk chain to reach another level of competitiveness. This is only possible because of this collective effort where the Federal, State and Rural Universities of Pará, state secretariats, institutions and professionals that work together reduce the cost and, still, improve the expertise and quality of what is offered”, reiterated the Governor Simão Jatene.
The state government, through the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Professional and Technological Education (Sectet), invested over R$ 2.3 million in the construction of the laboratory. The federal government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Supply (Mapa), was responsible for the acquisition of the diagnostic equipment and the Paraense Amazon Foundation for Studies and Research (FAPESPA) acquired the furniture. Unit coordination is under responsibility of the Food Science and Technology Program of the Federal University of Pará (UFPA).
The Milk Quality Laboratory is the first laboratory in the North region to certify the quality of the dairy product and also its derivatives, such as cheeses and yogurts. Previously, local producers needed to analyze products in others states like Goiás and Minas Gerais, which increased the final cost of the products, according to Sectec’s secretary, Alex Fiúza. “The milk product and raw material can not reach the market without quality certification. To date all certification has been made outside the region, at great cost to producers. Today, in addition to reducing the cost of these laboratory tests for producers, we will offer a scientific-technological counterpart for innovation “, assured the head of Sectet, highlighting the opportunity to verticalize the milk production chain within the state itself, with Product quality certification before it is made available to the consumer market.
The president of the Association of Marajó Milk and Cheese Producers, Claudio Penante, already envisions the new markets to be reached with the certification of the productive chain. “Our expectation is that it will help us take our products to different places. We, marajoaras, have the buffalo as our symbol and he offers us meat, traction, leather and milk. With this laboratory we will be able to analyze our milk”, Penante says, explaining that the Marajoara producers are responsible for the sanity of the herd and the good practices of milking to guarantee the quality of buffalo milk, that is the raw material of Marajó cheese, a product In the region.
Low quality milk causes great economic losses to the sector, represents a risk to public health, makes it impossible to gain more profitable markets and compromises the credibility of the productive chain. Therefore, the creation of a center to improve milk quality in Pará is viewed with great optimism. In addition to analysis and diagnostics, the Milk Quality Lab will work in training of producers with the objective of eliminating some obstacles to production. Laboratory technicians were trained to provide advice on processes such as hygiene, milking, storage and transportation.
In the short term, it will be possible to improve the base of the process from the zootechnical control and the evaluation of the microbiological, physico-chemical and microscopic quality of the milk from Pará. In the medium term, this will allow the creation of strategies to add value to milk, contributing to the verticalization of the chain and, within a few years, the investment in a line of own products, that can be sold in the market.
The laboratory is being certified by the Ministry of Agriculture. Once certified, the institution will be able to receive material from the entire region and neighboring states, placing Pará in a prominent position in the provision of quality control services within the sector.
The Milk Quality Laboratory, which has the capacity to analyze 250 samples per hour, will also have a mobile unit that can be taken to several municipalities with the same sophistication as the STP headquarters in Guamá. The project is to take the mobile laboratory to places where there is a greater concentration of the dairy so that producers realize the importance of the analysis, of having and offering quality product in the market.
Guamá Science and Technology Park – Built in Belém, in a 73-hectare area provided by UFPA and UFRA, Guamá STP is the first technology park to enter operation in the North Region. The construction and consolidation of the space are the responsibility of the Government of Pará, through Sectet. In addition to the Milk Quality Lab, the technology park houses other projects, such as the Regional Amazon Center of the National Institute of Space Research (CRA Inpe); The Center of Excellence in Energy Efficiency of the Amazon (Ceamazon); The High Voltage Laboratory and the Innovation Space, a building that houses advanced research and development laboratories that offer varied services to the public and private sectors, startups and companies that have the essence of investment in innovation.
Text by: Dani Filgueiras
Translation by: Matheus Castelo
Images by: Antônio Silva – Pará Agency