Government lab releases ‘world’s fastest prep’ for testing for pesticide: COA
A government- run lab said it has developed a 60- second method of extracting a sample for pesticide testing, the fastest on the global market.
The technology should generate NT$ 6.6 billion in overseas market opportunities over 10 years, according to the Council of Agriculture ( COA).
“At present, it is the fastest extraction technique for pesticide testing available on the global market today,” said Fei Wen- chi ( ) , director of the Taiwan Agricultural Chemicals and Toxic Substances Research Institute ( ) under the COA.
The “one- step and oneminute” method was developed for use by chemical analysts at state- run testing centers across Taiwan. The COA expects it to shorten turnaround time from 40 minutes to 60 seconds, improving manpower efficiency.
It received a Taiwan patent on July 20 and has entered trial production as a public- toprivate technology transfer. Patents are pending in the United States and China, Fei said.
One- Step Extraction
The COA said the new technique is set to replace QuEChERS ( Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe), an eightstep process currently used at testing labs across Taiwan.
QuEChERS takes 30 to 40 minutes and calls on researchers to blend a piece of the ag- ricultural product, shake it by hand, add in multiple solutions and run the liquid through a centrifuge twice before extracting a sample suitable for testing.
The new extraction method lets a lab worker extract a suitable sample by mixing it with a solvent that binds to impurities and pressing the liquid through a plunger.
Using this method, each lab worker can test around 40 samples a day, up from the eight to 15 that are possible through the QuEChERS technique, according to Lin Shao- kai ( ), the lead developer of the rapidextraction technique.
The rapid- extraction technique should cut solid lab waste by at least 70 percent and chemical lab waste like sorbents and buffers by half, while matching or besting the accuracy of previous methods, according to the COA.
Youth to Farms
Also on Wednesday, the COA reported on its new plan to boost youth participation in Taiwan’s aging agricultural sector over the next 10 years.
Under the proposal, the government will earmark NT$ 3 billion over six years to train 12,500 youth to the agricultural sector, where the average age is 62.
The council yesterday reported on the proposal to Premier Mao Chi- kuo ( ) of the Executive Yuan, which is widely expected to approve it today.
Researcher Lin Shao-kai ( ), right, demonstrates a newly developed rapidextraction technique for pesticide testing in Taipei, yesterday.