Expressing concern over repeated incidents of the presence of formaldehyde for preserving seafood in various domestic markets in India in recent times, Shri K S Srinivas, Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority said here today that it poses serious challenges on food safety and has a potential to become an irritant in India’s seafood exports to various markets. To address this, the Quality Control laboratory of MPEDA at its headquarters has developed a testing protocol for free formaldehyde in seafood.

The Quality Control (QC) laboratory of MPEDA is now equipped to detect the presence of formaldehyde, which is wrongly used for preserving seafood, and the chemical substance has been categorized by the WHO as “a potential health hazard for human beings’.

“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 pointed out.

This method is able to quantify formaldehyde in fish and fishery products and meets the national requirement as per the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI). This parameter has been brought under the scope of accreditation of MPEDA’s QC lab at Kochi. In addition, the Kochi lab has facilities for the screening of farmed shrimp samples for banned antibiotics under the Pre-Harvest Test (PHT) certification programme.