Quality Control Activities: Quality & Safety is the foundation of any food processing industry. In the sea food industry, due to the tropical conditions, quality control is a very vital element as the quality of the products processed is highly heterogeneous and perishable in nature. Realizing this, MPEDA advised the industry to adopt modern methods of handling, processing with adequate quality control measures to safeguard the quality of sea food.
To cope up with the ever-increasing demand for safe food and to satisfy the needs of health & quality conscious consumers all over the world, MPEDA Quality Control Section identified the following thrust areas for development / improvement and implements programmes as under:
- MPEDA has set up Labs at Kochi, Bhimavaram, Nellore, Bhubaneswar & Porbandar with facilities to test seafood samples for heavy metals, dyes, pesticides and antibiotic residues using advanced technology.
- It is operating a nationwide network of ELISA labs to ensure antibiotic residue free aquaculture shrimp for export.
- Imparting technical knowhow and information to seafood industry for quality up-gradation.
- Entrusting special research projects on quality problems with National Research Institutes as and when required
- Integrated development programme for upgrading seafood quality by providing assistance for setting up of mini labs to achieve quality assurance.
- Disseminating standards for compliance for export of fish and fishery products to various countries based on standards / norms / regulations prescribed/revised by such countries from time to time.
- Arranging delegations from India to acquaint with latest development in technology and resolving quality issues if any.
- Whenever required, MPEDA also invites / facilitates visits / inspections by the Health Authorities of importing countries to India to observe for themselves the improvements that have taken place in India in the processing and handling of fish and fishery products and to generate confidence in the processing and inspection systems being followed in India.
- MPEDA is a member in the meetings organized by Bureau of Indian Standards, the Export Inspection Council and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. MPEDA also offers its comments in meetings organized by the NCCP for finalizing India’s stand in the various committees of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, where international standards for fish and fishery products and related subjects are formulated.
- Providing comments on SPS/TBT issues.
- Investigate the rejections/detention reported from European Union, Japan, USFDA and other markets to suggest corrective actions to the processor to prevent recurrence in future.
- Providing technical guidance for HACCP implementation.
- Organising national/international trainings in Quality Control for the seafood processing sector for familiarizing the analytical methods adopted by importing countries. Training programmes are organized in India in collaboration with national and international organizations like USFDA, EU-BTSF, CITD, FAO, INFOFISH etc.