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Services provided in the Biotechnology Division:-

  1. Microbiology
  2. Zoology
  3. DNA bacteria Virus
  4. Animal
  5. Halal
  6. GMO


Biotechnology has been recognized in a universal as the latest technology key. In line with the government’s inspiration and in tandem with the development of analytical science, the Malaysian chemistry has taken proactive measures by establishing the biotechnology section in 2003. Equipped with advanced equipment, high expertise, committed staff and a conducive work environment, this section has been able to meet the customers ‘ needs and expectations.

The areas of analysis include detection and identification of bacteria in food using DNA and conventional techniques, the identification of genetic modified food (GM) and animal identification for the purpose of fulfilling the requirements of halal certification, the determination of the purity of vegetarian food as well as the preservation and conservation of wildlife animals.

The division are divided into three (3) sections:

  1. Microbiology section
  2. Species Identification / Halal Section
  3. Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Section



1) Food Microbiology


Analysis of food and beverages for enforcement of the Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations 1985, government tenders as well as monitoring purposes.

Types of samples received

  1. Perishable food
  2. Non-perishable food
  3. Beverages

Types of analysis

  1. Total bacterial count
  2. Total coliform count (MPN & Petrifilm)
  3. Total E. coli count (MPN & Petrifilm)
  4. Total Staphylococcus aureus count (MPN & Petrifilm)
  5. Total Bacillus spp.count (MPN)
  6. Total yeast and mould count
  7. Total probiotic bacteria count
  8. Detection of Salmonella spp.
  9. Detection of anaerobic bacteria
  10. Detection of spore-forming bacteria
  11. Detection of acidophilic bacteria
  12. Detection of flat sour bacteria
  13. Sterility test for canned and pouched food
  14. Detection of Staphylococcal enterotoxin (ELISA)
  15. Detection of B. cereus toxin (ELISA)

*MPN : Most Probable Number
ELISA : Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

2) Water Microbiology


To ensure the safety and quality of water.

Types of samples received

  1. Raw water and water treat under the national Drinking Water Quality Control Programme (KMAM)
  2. Surface water
  3. Pool water
  4. Farm Water
  5. Source of drinking water

Types of tests

  1. Koliform (membrane filtration techniques and the most likely number)
  2. Coliform poop (most likely number)
  3. E. coli (membrane filtration techniques and the most likely number)

3) DNA of bacteria/Virus


  1. Identify the pathoogenic bacteria using DNA techniques.
  2. Assist in enforcement of the Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations 1985.
  3. Analyse food and drinking water packaged for export, import and licensing purposes.

Types of samples received

  1. Perishables
  2. Non-perishable food
  3. Packaged water

Types of analysis

  1. Total bacterial Count
  2. Total count of Koliform (MF, MPN & Petrifilm)
  3. Total count of coloriform poop (MPN)
  4. E. coli count (MF, MPN & Petrifilm)
  5. Count of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MF)
  6. Calculate the Faecal streptococci (MPN)
  7. Sulphite-reducing anaerobes
  8. Detection of Clostridium perfringens
  9. Detection of Enterotoxigenic E. coli (PCR)
  10. Detection of Enteropathogenic E. coli (PCR)
  11. Detection of Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (PCR)
  12. Detection of Enteroinvasive E. coli (PCR)
  13. The avian salmonellosis detection of SPP. PCR
  14. Listeria monocytogenes Detection (PCR)
  15. Detection of Vibrio cholerae (PCR)
  16. Detection Vibrio parahaemolyticus (PCR)
  17. Detection of Campylobacter jejuni (PCR)
  18. Sakazakii (PCR) detection
    The Legionella detection of SPP. PCR

* MPN: Most likely number (most Probable Number)

MF: Membrane filtration (Membrane Filtration)

PCR: Polimerase chain action (Polymerase Chain anaphylactic)

4) Meat Specification / Halal DNA Functions

  1. Identify the presence of porcine to fulfill halal certification requirement.
  2. Identification of animal- or plant-derived products.
  3. Determination of animal species.
  4. Authentication of vegetarian food.

Type of sample received

  1. Raw food products
  2. Processed food products
  3. Meat and meat products
  4. Vegetarian food
  5. Herbal and traditional medicinal products
  6. Leather: e.g. shoes, handbags
  7. Hair and fur: e.g. brushes, carpets
  8. Healthcare products

Type of analysis

  1. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method.
    – detect universal DNA sequence(s) for vertebrates and plants.
    – detect species specific DNA sequence(s) for animals.
  2. Real Time PCR (RT-PCR)
    Faster and more sensitive method to detect and identify species specific DNA sequences for domestic animals.
  3. DNA Sequencing
    Identify the species of an unknown DNA sequence(s) through comparison with the public database.

5)  Animal Wildlife DNA Forensic


  1. Provide animal wildlife DNA analytical services.
  2. Assist enforcement agencies in the regulation of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 for Peninsular Malaysia and Wildlife Enactment for Sabah and Sarawak
  3. Assist the government in complying with the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Types of sample received

  1. Blood
  2. Bone
  3. Hair/fur
  4. Meat
  5. Horns/tusks
  6. Leather/pelt
  7. Saliva
  8. Faeces
  9. Ornaments from animal body parts

Type of analysis

  1. Species identification
  2. Sex determination for animals (eg birds)
    • Paternity testing for animals
  1. Identification of geographical/population origin for certain animals.

6) GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)


Identify food products were genetically modified for the purpose of an Authentication-free-GMO “and” non-GMO “claim. GMO Lab as the ASEAN Reference Laboratory (ASEAN Reference Laboratory) FOR GMO test under the European UNION (EU).

JSample received

  • Cereals
  • Raw Food Materials *
  • Processed Food materials *

* Soy-based, corn, potato, tomato, rice, wheat & tics.

Types of analysis

  1. Method of Polymerase Chain anaphylactic (PCR) (conventional)
    – Filter/Detect specific DNA sequences in the food product.
  2. Real-Time polymerase Chain anaphylactic
    – Quantifying the GM content in food products.

7) Zoology


Identify Fitoplankton and zooplankton in freshwater and sea water. Inspection to detect the presence of biological substances (such as insects and hair) in food products for the enforcement of Food Regulations 1985 and Food Act 1983. To assist other Malaysian branch laboratories in biological analysis if necessary.

Types of samples received

  • Freshwater
  • Sea water
  • Food Products

Types of tests

  • microSD analysis

Contact Us:

For further enquiries and information may be referred to:

Director of Biotechnology Division,
Drinking Water, Food And Environmental Safety Analysis Centre,
Department of Chemistry Malaysia,
Road Sultan 46661
Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Phone : 03-79853000 Ext. 3037
Fax: 03-79853028

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