Bathinda, Oct 2, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)
In a first among the Technical Universities of the state, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University, (MRSPTU), Bathinda will soon start testing and certifying food items at its campus. It will empower MRSPTU to certify food items for their nutritional value and also check for adulteration.
Food testing laboratory mechanism will boost the food processing sector in the state, which would benefit all stakeholders i.e. farmers, industry, producers and consumers, domestic industry (Domestic and exports), entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises in the business of Food Products in the region.
Quality and Food Safety have become competitive edge in the global market for the enterprises producing and marketing food products.
A Food Testing Laboratory Project has been approved by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MFPI), Government of India to the Department of Food Science and Technology, MRSPTU, Bathinda, Punjab. The grant-in-aid for setting up of testing facility is Rs. 253.12 Lakh besides other components.
The main objective of this project is to provide a safe nutritious diet in order to maintain health aspects in today’s world.
After getting the project, the MRSPTU has already started the process of establishing state of the art Food Testing laboratory at its Food Science and Technology department.
Dr. Kawaljit Singh Sandhu, Head, Department of Food Science and Technology, MRSPTU, Bathinda told that the proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Food Processing Industries for setting up of Food testing facility. The University got prestigious projects after tough competitions with the top institutions of the country.
The objective of the laboratory is to analyze the samples received from food processing industry and other stakeholders; to reduce the time taken for analysis of samples by reducing transportation time of samples; to ensure compliance of domestic/international standards on food; and to establish a surveillance system for monitoring the quality and composition of food.
Giving details, Rajvir Kaur, Assistant Professor and Mrs. Gurjinder Kaur Sidhu, PhD Research Scholar in the department said that the state of art Food Testing Laboratory will be created in the Department of Food Science and Technology which will have advance instruments like Gas Chromatography, High Performance Liquid Chromatography, Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emission Spectrometer, Fourier-transform infrared Spectrophotometer, Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer, Rotary Evaporator etc.
These instruments will detect pesticides, toxic heavy metals, nutritional elements, essential metals, anti-oxidants, vitamins, amino acids etc. in raw as well as processed foods. As the very purpose of the laboratory will be analyzing samples of food processing industries in nearby areas, it will be boon for the food industries of Bathinda in particular and Punjab in general.
The laboratory will also reduce the time taken for analysis as the industry has to send samples either to Chandigarh or Delhi for analysis. The food testing standards will comply with national and international standards, thus serving as boon for local as well as those exporting food materials.
Dr. Sandhu told that as per guidelines the laboratory will be fully functional before two (02) years. The process for obtaining National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) certification has already been initiated so that the Laboratory is authorized to test various food materials.
He also said that nominal fee will be fixed for testing of various constituents of foods so that food industry is benefitted. Further, he added that when laboratory is established, the skilled staff for food testing will be recruited and extensive advertisement will be done so that industry people know about the testing facility.
“Our lab will have most sophisticated high-end equipment to check for adulteration and quality, and will be at par with any international laboratory,” said Dr. Sandhu.
“After establishment of laboratory, we will go for analysis of any major, macro as well as micronutrients present in the food items. Anyone having any suspicion in their mind of plastic rice, egg and dairy products etc. they can bring it here and after analysis and using the most sophisticated high-end equipment, we can tell if there is any adulteration”, said Dr. Sandhu in a press release issued here on Wednesday.
MRSPTU, Vice Chancellor, Prof. (Dr.) Mohan Paul Singh Ishar said that as Punjab is the food bowl of India and the biggest contributor to Central pool of Food grains, the potential for food processing is enormous.
Also, among the industrial clusters of Punjab, Bathinda is selected for Agriculture and Food Processing. With such strategic location and favorable government policies more food processing industries are being set up.
Registrar of the University and Head of the Department, Pharmaceutical Sciences & Technology Prof. Ashish Baldi stressed that the testing of processed foods for safety issues be given prime importance as it directly affects our health and well-being. As more and more food adulteration cases are coming up the food testing becomes a necessity. Prof. Ishar and Dr. Baldi congratulates the Department of Food Science and Technology for the initiative.
WHY NEED FOR FOOD TESTING LABORATORY:
The quality infrastructure is must to produce the world class processed food products in India. The Indian food products face the tough competition from global companies which produces high quality standard food products. To overcome this situation and to produce global quality food products in India then a Quality and Food Safety system has to be implemented to meet the global quality standard.
For quality check and testing, Food Testing Laboratory plays very important role. Western countries have put a strong food testing laboratory system to check and maintain the high quality food products. India too is following the same system to produce the world class quality products.
As per norms laid by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is getting tougher, it will be requisite for those in food processing business to get their product tested. This will also help our local food processing industries to compete nationally and globally.