FSSAI has broadened its approach to provide nation a safer food experience. In a recent regulation, it has drafted a list of rules for the minimum pre-requisites of the equipments used in chemical testing of food items. It has been made public and suggestions are being sought by the market players.
Notification states that vertex regulator was already brainstorming the required conditions and specifications of the equipments used for chemical testing of food and has drafted the list of rules which has been forwarded to market leaders for suggestions if there any.
According to the FSSAI, central to food testing are instruments which include standard lab equipment like pH meters, analytical balances, spectrophotometers, refractometers, titrators, moisture analysers and high-end techniques like High Performance Liquid Chromatography, gas chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy.
The notice points out, “The key driver for the food analyst is to decide on equipment appropriate for the analysis in regulatory compliance. The key specifications of equipment used in a food testing laboratory, to meet and comply with the Food Safety and Standards Rules and Regulations (2011), are compiled.”
“The document is divided into two parts, Part A and Part B. Part A lists all the primary analytical instruments. Part B lists the auxiliary equipment that support the analytical measurements. The list of equipment and specifications are indicative and can be suitably modified in accordance with laboratory’s need or for the measurement,” reads the notice.
There are 32 primary testing and 34 auxiliary testing equiments are listed in the notice.
Currently there are 198 laboratories which are utilised by FSSAI for testing of food samples. These include 72 laboratories functioning under the State/ Union Territory Government (utilised for primary analysis of sample by the Food Analyst under FSS Act, 2006), 112 laboratories NABL (ISO 17025) accredited private laboratories notified by FSSAI for the purpose of carrying out primary analysis of samples under FSS Act, 2006, and 14 Referral Laboratories notified by FSSAI for the purpose of referral testing under FSS Act, 2006/ Rules & Regulations, 2011 (i.e., analysis of appeal samples).