It allows the firm to meet clients’ expectations on the South African growing market.
The project started in March 2014, the building was obtained and equipment delivered in March 2015 and commercial testing started this month.
The building is around 150m2, with an investment of about 3.500,000 South African Rand (almost €260,000).
Mérieux NutriSciences is present in the country through its three laboratories in Cape Town, Midrand, and Jeffreys Bay, and two regional sales and consulting offices in Durban and George.
Testing moved to be closer to producers
Anza Bester, manager of corporate key accounts of Swift Silliker, a Mérieux NutriSciences company, said client expectations focus around fast and accurate results.
“In the last 10 years about 80% of South Africa's milk producers have moved to the Eastern Cape. This is basically due to lower feeding costs. Raw milk testing has moved to the coastal areas to be closer to the milk producers.
“The farmers/milk producers are paid for milk quality and location for easy delivery/shipment of samples is key.”
When asked what the main areas of concern where when testing milk, she said: “To assure the secondary processor that the raw milk is of good quality by performing basic tests. It is key for milk producers to ensure that the product conforms to the expectations of the secondary processor.”
The facility has CombiFoss FT+ instrumentation for the determination of Somatic cell counts, protein, fat, urea, lactose, total solids and total-solids-non-fat.
To further meet demand, it will be expanding its services to perform culture testing of milk for the isolation and identification of pathogens towards the end of this year.
Antibiograms (disc diffusion susceptibility tests) will be performed to determine the sensitivity or resistance of pathogenic bacteria to various antimicrobial compounds.
The laboratory brings together equipment, experts and a Quality Systems Program.
“This state-of-the-art laboratory enhances our ability in the region to deliver raw milk testing and faster turn-around time which is a priority to our customers and one of the key deliverables for our new testing facility,” said Valmé Stewart, managing director of Mérieux NutriSciences in South Africa.