19th March, 2019, Cochin
The ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin was conferred with a status of National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for Fish and Fish Products by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India under the regulation 3 of Food Safety and Standards (Recognition and Notification of Laboratories) Regulation, 2018 here today vide order no. 12013/02/2017-QA.
The ICAR-CIFT is the sole research institute under the SMD (Fishery), ICAR to be adorned with such high profile recognition.
Earlier, the institute had also been notified as the National Referral Laboratory vide Government of India Gazette Notification - S.O. 97(E) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) Dated 10th January, 2017. Along with ICAR-CIFT, 8 more laboratories in Government sector and 5 laboratories in private sector have also been conferred the status of National Reference Laboratory in the specific areas.
With the vision of creating a laboratory system network on par with global food testing laboratories; the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has notified 13 food testing laboratories in the country that are accredited as per appropriate ISO/IEC standards for method development, method validation, proficiency testing and training by National / International accreditation bodies.
As per FSSAI guidelines, the functions of the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) include:
- Be the resource centre for provision of information on certified reference materials and reference materials.
- Develop standards for routine testing procedures and reliable testing methods.
- Provide technical support in the area of competence.
- Evaluate the performance of other notified laboratories.
- Coordinate exchange of information amongst notified laboratories.
- Collaborate for data generation among network of notified food laboratories and referral food laboratories and collate the date related to their specific domain.
- Carry out such other functions, as may be specified by the Food Authority from time to time in the related areas.
Under the NRL notification, the ICAR-CIFT has earmarked with the following research activities on emerging issues pertaining to:
- Risk assessment of dietary exposure of persistent organic pollutants and emerging contaminants, such as, brominated flame retardants and pharmacologically active substances to Indian population from fish and fisheries products.
- Research on ingression of specific migration of chemicals from plastic packaging materials to fishery products.
- Research on incidence of biotoxins in finfish/shellfish.
(Source: ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin)