The Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has granted recognition and validation to two Auriga Research Limited laboratories, a multi-disciplinary contract research and testing organisation, for food testing.
One of the laboratories is situated at Baghbania Baddi, Solan district, Himachal Pradesh, and the other is situated in Yeshwanthpur Industrial Suburb, Bangalore, Karnataka. Both these laboratories are now authorised to carry out testing of food samples within the scope of biological and chemical parameters.
The biological parameters test food samples for contaminants like bacteria, viruses, parasites and toxins. Chemical parameters test food samples for contaminants such as fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and animal tissues, and heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, tin, and copper.
According to a press release, the FSSAI is an agency of the ministry of health & family welfare, Government of India. It is the apex food regulator and is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through regulation and supervision of food safety. FSSAI, therefore, grants recognition and validation to laboratories for food testing, provided they have accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). The NABL is a signatory to ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Conference) and APLAC (Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) and because of these agreements the test and calibration results are recognised and mutually accepted among all member signatories worldwide.
While NABL accreditation of laboratories is compulsory for FSSAI recognition, it is not binding on the FSSAI to grant recognition to all NABL accredited laboratories. FSSAI bases its recognition on how well the laboratories have implemented and maintained Quality Management System in accordance with the latest version of ISO/IEC 17025 which is the ‘general requirement for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.’
The FSSAI recognition and validation endorses the fact that the two labs have the capability and competence for testing foods for safety and quality parameters as per the requirements of Food Safety & Standards Act 2006. The labs are part of the flagship Arbro Pharmaceuticals Limited which is a well-known name in the pharmaceuticals industry.
The labs already had NABL (ISO/IEC 17025: 2005) accreditation, now with the FSSAI recognition and validation, they have become FSSAI-notified laboratories and will provide analytical services for food. In fact the lab in Baddi is the only one in the whole of Himachal Pradesh to be granted NABL accreditation and FSSAI recognition for food testing.