INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Association of India (FSSAI) has partnered a United States biotechnology firm, Thermo Fischer Scientific, in a move that seeks to improve food quality and safety by enhancing food testing capabilities in India.

The partnership will facilitate establishment of a state-of-the-art food testing center in Ghaziabad.

Thermo Fischer is set to offer skills to analysts and also train food scientists in ways of conducting high quality food testing.

“The upcoming Customer Solution Center (CSC) at Ghaziabad is equipped with advanced analytical solutions that will overcome a wide range of challenges presently faced by food safety scientists.

For example, detecting organic pollutants like brominated flame retardants and chlorinated paraffin in food.

The CSC will be equipped to find these pollutants within a routine food safety analysis laboratory environment,” says Amit Chopra, managing director, India and Middle East Thermo Fisher Scientific.

According to an ET Retail report, the CSC will be equipped with latest innovations in liquid, gas and ion chromatography, mass spectrometry, and trace element analysis to address adulteration and food spiking concerns among other food quality and safety issues.

FSSAI has been instrumental in ensuring safety and quality standards of foods are met by actors in the country’s food industry through continually developing measures that blend with the current trends amidst changing food sector.

“We [FSSAI] have decided to redefine our role as an organisation that helps align the expectations of key stakeholders, including scientists, testing labs, food businesses, state governments and consumers,” notes Pawan Kumar Agarwal CEO, FSSAI.

The standards body has also received a fully equipped Center for Microbiological Analysis Training (C-MAT) lab in Ghaziabad from science and technology company, Merck, that will train food scientists on microbiological testing.

“The importance of food safety in India has grown, given the increasing level of processing and overall food production.

“We will continue to provide skills training, implement new technologies for food testing to address quality requirements and advance food safety for India, as well as the global market,” said Udit Batra, member of the Merck executive board and chief executive, Life Science.

The Merck-developed lab offers a complete food pathogen testing to the food and beverage sector, equipped with technology that will facilitate in solving pathogen testing and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Audit management challenges.