Kochi: The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) on Monday announced that it has developed a testing protocol for formaldehyde adulteration in seafood.
This measure came in the wake of repeated incidents of the presence of formaldehyde for preserving seafood in various domestic markets in the country in recent times.
MPEDA Chairman K.S. Srinivas said that this adulteration poses serious challenges on food safety and has a potential to become an irritant in India's seafood exports to various markets and to address this, the Quality Control laboratory of MPEDA at its headquarters has developed a testing protocol for formaldehyde adulteration in seafood.
"The Kochi laboratory, accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) and approved by Export Inspection Council (EIC), has developed and validated a method for detecting formaldehyde in seafood using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)," he said.
This method is able to quantify formaldehyde in fish and fishery products and meets the national requirement as per Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI).
In addition, the Kochi lab has facilities for screening of farmed shrimp samples for banned antibiotics under Pre-Harvest Test (PHT) certification programme.
In another major step, MPEDA has started formally extending testing services in the field of microbiology from its state-of-the-art microbiology laboratory to the seafood exporters and other stakeholders of the industry.
The lab is capable of testing various microbiological parameters in water, fish and fishery products and spices. The laboratory has also got a molecular biology section that can handle testing of pathogenic viruses in shrimps.
"All the guidelines and protocols charted out by the government, such as social distancing, wearing of masks and use of sanitisers, are being strictly followed at the offices and laboratories of MPEDA," Srinivas added.