Through a notification dated 29th March 2016, the FSSAI has listed the names of all NABL accredited and FSSAI notified labs in the official gazette. The list contains laboratories across India that are recognized for carrying out analysis of food samples according to biological and chemical parameters. FSSAI has given recognition and validation to five laboratories in the eastern region, 37 laboratories in the northern region and 28 laboratories each in the western and southern regions.
In order to ensure food safety, the FSSAI regularly monitors foods sold in the Indian market to see if they meet regulatory standards for chemical and biological parameters. The food industry is growing at a rapid pace and the need for food safety has become a big concern. Therefore the FSSAI has made a number of additions to the recognized food testing laboratories. Among these Auriga Research Limited, Baddi Himachal Pradesh and Auriga Research Limited, Bengaluru, Karnataka have been recognized by FSSAI as food testing laboratories for chemical and biological parameters. Both these food labs are part of the flagship Arbro Pharmaceuticals Limited, Delhi.
All food testing laboratories play an important role in helping Food Business Operators to provide quality, nutritious and safe foods. Food product testing helps FBOs to ensure that their products are within regulatory parameters as far as biological and chemical parameters are concerned. Food samples for testing can be taken from raw materials, from the product during its processing and production and from finished products. The various categories of FBOs who can avail of the services of the food testing labs include manufacturers/processors, suppliers, distributors, and food service establishments etc.
Biological testing involves testing food samples for pathogens, which include naturally occurring bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins. Some of the parameters involved include sterility testing, bacterial endotoxin test, microbial limit tests, total bacterial counts, total fungal counts etc.
Chemical testing includes the testing of food samples for contaminants like fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and animal tissues etc.; and inorganic contaminants like antimony, asbestos, barium, etc. The various heavy metal contaminants such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, tin, copper, zinc, nickel and selenium are also tested under this category.