India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has announced the opening of a fifth quality-control laboratory in Odisha state.
The state-of-the-art laboratory, set up at Nayapally in Bhubaneswar, is fully equipped to check for the presence of chloramphenicol and nitrofuran antibiotics in shrimp and other marine products, AgriTimes.co.in reported.
MPEDA has set up the lab to address the concerns from importers and the governments of the United States, Japan and, the European Union, who have asked for more stringent quality controls over exports of seafood from India.
The lab is accredited by India’s National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration and has been approved by the Export Inspection Council of India under its Laboratory Approval Scheme. The lab has already begun analyzing chloramphenicol and nitrofuran metabolites in samples drawn under the National Residue Control Program, the AgriTimes.co.in report added.
Dedicating the laboratory to the seafood export industry, state agriculture production commissioner Gagan Kumar Dhal said that, with the lab, MPEDA has met a longstanding demand from the seafood exporters.
“With our seafood exporters setting global benchmarks, we must follow this to lead the seafood sector in the next few decades,” Dhal said.
In his remarks at the opening, MPEDA Chairman A Jayathilak reported that there is a sustained demand from the industry to have a laboratory with the most modern equipment to identify the presence of antibiotic residues up to the lowest and most microscopic levels.
The lab Bhubaneswar is already being used by seafood farmers, processors, and exporters as part of their quality assurance for residue-free raw material for processing and exporting, Jayathilak said. And the lab is developing facilities for validation of tetracycline and sulphonamides, and will soon be fully ready for analysis of commercial samples meant for export to the European Union, he added.
In addition to the new lab, MPEDA already operates two ELISA screening laboratories at Bhubaneswar and Balasore, in charge of inspection and issuance of pre-harvest testing certificates to farmers for facilitating export to the E.U. market.