The FSSAI has issued an order releasing the names of laboratories as National Reference Laboratory (NRL) recognised under the FSS Act for the specified subject matter. These laboratories will have recognition until March 31, 2023.
A total of 11 NRLs have been named along with two ancillary NRLs.
The labs include Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, and the scientific area for which it was declared NRL is nutritional information and labelling; Export Inspection Agency, Kochi, for GMO testing; Punjab Biotechnology Incubator, Mohali, for Sweets & Confectionary including Honey; ICAR-National Research Centre for Grapes, Pune, for Pesticides Residues and Mycotoxins; Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi, for Fish and Fish Products; Centre for Analysis and Learning in Livestock and Food –National Dairy Development Board, Anand, for Dairy and Dairy Products; CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow, for Toxicological Evaluation/Risk Assessment of Nutraceutical, Functional Foods and Novel, Emerging Foods/Food Ingredients.
The other NRLs include Vimta Labs, Hyderabad, for Water, Alcoholic Beverages and Non Alcoholic Beverages; Fare Labs Pvt Ltd in Gurugram, for Oils and Fats; and Neogen Food and Animal Security India Pvt Ltd, Kochi, for Food Allergens.
The two ancillary NRLs include labs of Export Inspection Agency in Chennai and Kolkata for support facility in microbiology testing and heavy metals testing in all food categories, respectively.
According to the FSSAI, the National Reference Laboratories in India carry out the functions including acting as a resource centre for provision of information for certified reference materials; developing standards for routine testing procedures and reliable testing methods; providing technical support in the area of competence; evaluating the performance of other notified laboratories; coordinating exchange of information amongst notified food laboratories; collaborating for data generation among the network of notified food laboratories and referral food laboratories and collate the data related to their specific domain; and such other functions as may be specified by the Food Authority.
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