CIFT gets globally recognized accreditation for testing seafood
The Central Institute of Fisheries Technology under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), which was accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (a constituent board of the Quality Council of India), has now been given the NABL-FSSAI integrated accreditation, which will help boost the image of Indian seafood in the international market. CIFT was the first research institute under ICAR to be accredited by NABL. CIFT’s unique distinction of having integrated accreditation, which is valid for two years, was conferred on December 15, 2021. Leela Edwin, acting director of CIFT, said the integrated accreditation extended the scope for testing 380 parameters with respect to chemical, biological, and mechanical components of water, fish and fisheries products, feed, gear materials and packaging materials in line with the national and international quality standards. She said seafood exports required mandatory testing of water, packaging materials and fish products to match the quality standards set y the importing countries. The test certification accredited by the NABL was a global recognition, a pre-requiste for export purposes. ICAR-CIFT with its high-end laboratory facilities and well-experienced NABL team in Kochi, has taken the responsibility for testing for antibiotics, pesticide residues, heavy metal presence, biotoxins in finfish and shelfish, harmful contaminants, food additives and the like in addition to testing for bacterial pathogens and infectious viruses in fish. CIFT is also accredited for the testing of paper, plastic, paper board, plastic films, fishing gear and materials for various quality parameters. CIFT was earlier notified as the National Referral Laboratory for fish and fishery products during 2017. The ICAR institute was also conferred with the status of National Reference Laboratory for fish and fish products in 2019 by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India under the Ministry of Health and Family welfare. Dr. Edwin, who recently assumed charge as acting director of CIFT, is the head of the Fishing Technology Division and succeeds Dr. Ravishankar C.N., who took charge as the director and Vice Chancellor of ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai, said a communication. Her PhD thesis won the Jawaharlal Nehru Award 2000 for the best PhD thesis in fisheries sciences in India. She has also won a National Award for Technology Innovation (runner-up) in the field of polymer science and technology.