Introduction: Food Testing Laboratory
In recent times, witnessing the massive rise of covid-19 cases has made us realize the significance of testing in our daily lives, especially when it comes to quality checks of food that we consume. Even though the bad quality and processing of food don’t directly affect the transmission of covid, they do contribute to hundreds of other diseases, even the fatal ones. Also, you might have noticed that the food industry of India often comes under the scrutiny of foreign media for its poor quality as compared to global standards. And, this not only damages its reputation but also harms its export figures. All these make prior testing of food by accredited and certified laboratories a must to ensure its safety and hygiene. In this article, we will discuss the roles of a food testing laboratory in a detailed manner, alongside the compliances required to start it in India.
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Food Testing Laboratory in India
Despite being the last step in the food manufacturing chain, the testing of food products stands as the most crucial step, without which the government authority may not let businesses sell their edible products in the Indian market. Food testing has become necessary to determine the safety of edible products for public consumption as it makes sure they are free of any physical, chemical, or biological contamination.
To get a better understanding of it, you can take examples of potentially dangerous food impurities, such as metals, pathogens, cleaning agents, additives, and pesticides. You may here get shocked if we tell you this is just the tip of the iceberg. Besides this, the food testing laboratory also conducts a scientific analysis of the edible products to find out their properties, including structure, compositions, and physicochemical characteristics.
Roles of a Food Testing Laboratory in India
The presence of food testing laboratory is crucial for the food industry of the country and the reason we are saying this is the roles they play, which includes:
- Testing the quality of a food product
- Inspection and grading of food products.
- Testing to check food’s authenticity
- Testing for any impurities
- Nutritional labeling of food products.
- Analysis of food nutrient contents
- Shelf-life testing
- Sensory assessment
Significance of Food Testing Laboratory
Throughout the country, over six hundred food testing laboratories are present. This figure considers every NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) certified laboratory, as well as those held by FSSAI, food business operators, central-state governments, private key players, etc.
Besides this, several food testing labs are also operating there, which primarily focus on testing raw materials and finished products. Unlike the ones mentioned above, these are comparatively smaller and help food business operators of the country obtain required test reports for concerned food items. If we think of the benefits of it from a consumer perspective, then it protects them from all the potential diseases that can arise from contaminated food.
And what about manufacturers? Well, a food testing laboratory assures the safety of food products of a manufacturer and helps it get regulatory approval to enter the market. Not just this, it also indirectly contributes to the brand reputation, which can ultimately reap high growth for its business.
Techniques Used in a Food Testing Laboratory
- Analytical testing
Also known as material testing or analytical chemistry testing, it is used to identify the chemical characteristics of a particular food product. In simple terms, a food testing laboratory does it for identifying and finding the chemical components that are present in a food product, such as pH, additives, adulterants, minerals, preservatives, etc.
- Microbiological analysis and testing
Microbiological analysis of food products takes into use biochemical practices to detect and identify the presence of microorganisms in a food product. Mainly, it is used for the raw materials applied in food preparation and sometimes for the final products as well. And the significance of it can’t be underestimated at any cost because if any contaminated microorganisms enter the food manufacturing and supplying chain, it can lead to a potential outbreak of food poisoning cases among the general public and disruption in food production, which means loss of substantial revenue and stability.
- Nutritional analysis
A food testing laboratory uses nutritional analysis techniques to determine the nutritional contents of a food product. It is a vital part of material testing that helps food business operators get all the required information on nutritional content to mention on the packaging of their food products and comply with the regulatory frameworks, or we should say, saves them from any legal consequences.
Regulations and Norms for Food Testing Laboratory In India
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the proper quality check of food products available in the market for public consumption. It has put several measures in place that every food business operator in the country is obliged to follow. This includes timely mandatory testing from a certified testing laboratory. Here, someone might ask, ‘But what about the regulations and norms for starting a laboratory for food testing?’ Because without them, anyone could start one for himself, which will only compromise their authenticity over time. Considering this, FSSAI has set a certain set of norms for establishing laboratories for food testing in the country, which are as follows:
- As per FSSAI, every food testing laboratory is required to put a Quality Management System (QMS) in place. Besides this, it must also have relevant testing equipment and parameters for quality checks.
- The laboratory is required to operate under the purview of a Government-recognized authority, such as NABL, FSSAI, etc.
- The staff of the laboratory must be trained and well-versed in handling all the testing requirements.
- There must be at least one certified food analyst present in all the laboratories that are indulged in the testing of food products.
- The FSSAI recognizes three types of labs, namely, Level 1, Level 2, and Referral lab, and mandates them to possess all the testing gear and equipment required as per the scope of their recognition levels.
Thinking of starting a food testing laboratory? Well, if yes, then let us tell you it can not only result in a successful business with high margins for you but also contribute to making the food industry of the country safer for the general public. Just make sure you follow all the compliances required for it and you’re good to go. In case you need any help with that, feel free to come in contact with Corpseed ITES, which is India’s best business legal and Company and has been working in this field for years.
If you are into food business with revenue below 12 Lakhs, you must obtain an FSSAI Registration before starting operations. Corpseed can help you to obtain FSSAI registration for your business.
If you are into food business with revenue above 20 Lakhs, you must obtain an FSSAI License before starting operations. Corpseed can help you to obtain FSSAI state license for your business. Guaranteed satisfaction or your money back.
FSSAI Central License PAN India in no time. In case you want to import/export or sell your products on an E-Commerce Website, you must obtain an FSSAI Central License. Team Corpseed will help you to obtain FSSAI central license.
This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.
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