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Our Inspection Services

OFCO group, the seafood specialist with common sense. You need a seafood specialist - not only a norms specialist.

Pre-Shipment Inspection

Our pre-shipment inspection services are meticulously designed to provide you with peace of mind before your seafood products are loaded. Our team of experienced inspectors examines every aspect of your products, including quantity, packaging, quality, and adherence to specifications. With OFCO’s pre-shipment inspection services, coupled with our consulting expertise, you can rest assured that your seafood products meet your needs.


Buyers directly confirm their orders with Vietnamese suppliers and

subsequently request OFCO’s inspection. When necessary, we step in to ensure that there are no misunderstandings regarding specifications and quality between both parties. Our inspections are systematically carried out by at least two inspectors of different nationalities working together. This diversity ensures a comprehensive evaluation and minimizes biases. We emphasize the sampling method to ensure representative results. After each inspection, we promptly send our customers a comprehensive and objective quality report. Supported by detailed pictures, this report provides an objective overview of the product’s condition. Beyond the report, we systematically provide extensive analysis. Our clients receive insights that go beyond surface observations. We help you interpret the data, enabling informed and wise decisions about your consignments. Our services are strategically designed to ensure that suppliers align with buyers’ expectations, thereby minimizing potential issues. We work proactively to prevent problems and eliminate surprises. Our commitment goes beyond mere compliance; it's about protecting your investment. Our goal is to avoid recommending container rejections. Rejecting containers can disrupt supply chains and impact business relationships. Therefore, we urge buyers to inform both suppliers and OFCO at the order confirmation stage, that OFCO is mandated for inspection.

Sampling Cold storage
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NET WEIGHT Inspection

The net weight inspection is part of our pre-shipment inspection

The seafood world is controlled by strict international standards and applying correctly those standards is the basic to carry out correctly an inspection but that is not enough: common sense is at least as much important as standards.  Because applying norms or standards without correct understanding and without common sense can't give reliable result. It even can go against development of the quality because standards could become an obsession at the detriment of the quality.

As standard procedure to control the net weight, OFCO follows the codex alimentarius and AOAC International but with two necessary adjustments.


OFCO METHOD USED FOR BLOCK FROZEN AND IQF PRODUCT (STANDARD METHOD USED BY OFCO)

The samples are transferred into a water bath and kept immersed by hand. The product may be carefully agitated, till no more glaze can be felt by the finger-tips on the surface of the product: change from slippery to rough. Needed time, depending on size,shape and glaze content of the product, 10 to 60 sec. (and more in case of higher glaze contents or if frozen together). Remove adhering water by the use of paper towel (without pressure) and weight the product in a tared pan. TWO ADJUSTMENTS NEEDED: 1- Several international methods impose to use a "gentle spray of cold water" to remove the glazing on IQF product. This method goes against the law of physics as the 'gentle spray of cold water' will instead increase the glazing if done in proper condition. Inspection must be carried in correct condition and therefore adjusting the 'strength' or the 'temperature' of this gentle spray of cold water is not a correct option. The best way is to go around this norm and dip the product into a water bath and kept it immersed by hand until no more glaze can be felt by the finger-tips on the surface of the product. 2- Several international methods impose to use a "incline sieve at angle of 17-20° to facilitate drainage and drain exactly for 2 mn (or 3 mn according to the method)" instead of a towel or paper towel to remove the adhering water. -> Theoretically this method is not consistent because if the control is done in proper condition a proportion of the adhering water will refreeze on the product. This proportion will depend on several external factors which are difficult to control as for example the temperature of the frozen product and of the room, the shape of the product and the irregularity of its surface. Using a paper towel to remove the adhering water, as recommended by OFCO, is a more 'visible' external factors but with less impact on the result. -> Practically using an inclined sieve is simpler than OFCO Method on a small number of sample/product controlled. But as soon as the number of sample/product to be controlled increased, the risk of errors increases as well therefore affect the reliability of the result. Therefore, this method is theoretically not consistent and practically risky. OFCO ALTERNATIVE METHODS 1- Using a "gentle spray of cold water to remove the glazing " is not an option as it is physically not possible. OFCO is an independent third party inspection: We follow international norms and standards for our inspections but we do not have the obligation to lie about following or pretending to follow norms that are not applicable or not efficient. We still remain open for any discussion and possible way to improve our inspection method and our services in general. 2- Using a "incline sieve at angle of 17-20° to facilitate drainage" is possible and OFCO can follow this method if requested by our client with his/her understanding that the "gentle spray of cold water to remove the glazing" is anyway not an option. Observation: In my opinion, the only reason to follow this method is just to follow blindly some international norms because the consistency of this method is less than 'using a paper towel' and the risk of errors are much bigger. Also considering that the previous step of those international norms which is 'using a gentle spray of cold water to remove the glazing' can't be followed, the international norms will be followed only partially and therefore not respected anyway. Remark: Codex alimentarius does not impose this method. 3- Instead of measuring the net-weight on deglazed product, there is possibility to measure the net-weight on defrosted product. This method is not recommended but OFCO can apply it on Pangasius fillet. OFCO will follow this method only if requested by our client and with his/her understanding of the limit of the method. Interest of the method: The added water on Pangasius fillet can go over 50% of the final weight (usually from 30 to 45%) and therefore it is an important part of the product we inspect. The classical control of the net weight (# deglazed method) do not consider how the muscle of the fillet retain the water. The 'defrosted method' will take in consideration the water release right away by the muscle after defrosting and according to the additive used, the variation can be significant. This method is more understandable for most of the final consumers and that is what they expect. limit of the method: We do not recommend any more this method because the external factors are very difficult to control and the consistency of the method is much less than the deglazed method. Also, this method is far from international norm. NET WEIGHT RESULT & INTERPRETATION I didn't find in any publications a statistically correct interpretation of net weight result and its tolerance. OFCO gives some guidance to buyers and to suppliers who are interested. This guidance does not have value of absolute and in anyway, the decision to accept or reject a consignment remains the decision of the buyers and the tolerances imposed by him/her. Buyers are invited to share those tolerances with the suppliers and with OFCO.

Net weigh inspection

Processing Inspection

Processing inspection service serves different purposes. It may be for specific aspects that require one-off monitoring or, on the contrary, to provide regular support to a company sending its raw materials to Vietnam for reprocessing.

But even if this service is widely and easily offered in Vietnam, it is not universally applicable and must be used judiciously and only on special occasions.

processing contract inspection
Loading supervision

Loading Supervision

Loading supervision complements our service for Pre-shipment inspection safeguarding the loading process for our customers’ consignments from Vietnam. Buyers confirm order directly to Vietnamese suppliers and at the buyers' request, the supplier schedules the loading supervision with our Quality Control department. After loading supervision, we send by email to our customers a comprehensive and objective report supported by pictures. We also systematically provide extensive analysis to help them interpret the results and make an informed and wise decision about their consignment. For the customer's insurance, we always put a temperature recorder in the container. We invoice only the buyers and do not accept any payment or compensation from suppliers.

Loading Inspection

Our loading inspection services offer peace of mind by verifying that the goods loaded align precisely with the inspected items. However, this specialized service is not universally applicable and should be used judiciously. 

 

Two teams of experienced inspectors carry out simultaneous pre-shipment inspection and loading supervision.

OFCO _cold storage
Cold storage

Factory Audit

At OFCO, we proactively conduct regular factory audits, an essential practice to stay abreast of factory developments and the establishment of new facilities.

Whether you have specific requests or need comprehensive assessments, our dedicated teams are always on the road, ensuring that audits complement our inspection and consulting services.
 

Sample Inspection

At OFCO, we adhere to customer standards by conducting sample inspections either at our office or directly at the supplier’s factory. Our meticulous checks assess product quality and verify compliance with customer expectations.

This crucial upstream step, especially for clients embarking on new projects or collaborating with new suppliers, guarantees smoother cooperation before production begins.

Samples inspection
Sampling cold storage

Complementary services to
Pre-shipment inspections

Our commitment goes beyond the inspection process. We believe in complete support, and our pre-shipment inspection services don't start with sampling, nor do they end with the quality report.

We make every effort to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that our customers receive what they need to develop their market. A wide range of modest yet impactful services are in place, ready to be used when needed, to support the development of our customers' market share.

 

Join OFCO to explore the full spectrum of our offerings.

Sample preparation

At OFCO, we meticulously prepare samples for specific analyses, which are then sent to accredited laboratories. While we exercise utmost caution when sending samples externally, we limit this practice to select analyses—excluding bacteriological assessments or antibiotic research.
For these specialized analyses, buyers have the option to arrange for laboratory pickup at the supplier facility or request the supplier to directly send the sample to the laboratory.

sample preparation

For your reference

CODEX ALIMENTARIUS COMMISSION
7.3.2 Determination of Net Weight of Products Covered by Glaze
As soon as the package is removed from low temperature storage, open immediately and place the contents under a gentle spray of cold water. Agitate carefully so that the product is not broken. Spray until all ice glaze that can be seen or felt is removed. Remove adhering water by the use of paper towel and weight the product in a tared pan.

 

CODEX ALIMENTARIUS COMMISSION
ANNEX B (Method for the determination of net content of frozen fish block covered by glaze)
The pre-weighed samples/sub-samples are transferred into the water bath and kept immersed by hand.  The product may be carefully agitated, till no more glaze can be felt by the finger-tips on the surface of the product: change from slippery to rough. Needed time, depending on size/shape and glaze content of the product, 10 to 60 sec. (and more in case of higher glaze contents or if frozen together). The deglazed sample/sub-sample, after removal of adhering water by use of a towel (without pressure) is immediately weighed. 

 

AOAC OFFICIAL METHOD 963.18
Net Contents of Frozen Seafoods Drained Weight Procedure
Remove package from low temperature storage, open immediately, and place contents under gentle spray of cold H2O. Agitate carefully so product is not broken. Spray until all ice glaze that can be seen or felt is removed. Transfer product to circular No. 8 sieve, 8 in. (20cm) diameter for 0.9 kg (2lb) and 12 in. (30cm) for >0.9kg (2lb). Without shifting product, incline sieve at angle of 17-20° to facilitate drainage and drain exactly 2 min (stop watch). 

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