Quality Control Activities
Quality & Safety is the foundation of any food processing industry. In the sea food industry, quality control is a very vital element as quality of the products processed is highly heterogeneous and perishable in nature, particularly under tropical conditions. Realizing this, MPEDA advised the industry to adopt modern methods of handling, processing and adequate quality control measures to safeguard the quality of sea food.
To cope up with the 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 and Bhubaneswar with facilities to test seafood samples for heavy metals, dyes, pesticides and antibiotic residues using advanced technology.
- Operating a nationwide network of ELISA labs to ensure Antibiotic residue free aquaculture shrimp meant 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
- Monitoring of quality from primary production to processing plants for export.
- Integrated development programme for upgrading seafood quality by providing infrastructural facilities like pre-processing centers and setting up of mini lab towards quality assurance.
- Evolving standards for compliance for export of fish and fishery products to various countries based on standards / norms / regulations prescribed 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 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 Bureau of Indian Standards, the Export Inspection Council and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. MPEDA also attends the meetings organized by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, where international standards for fish and fishery products and related subjects are formulated.
- Providing comments on SPS/TBT issues and notifications.
- 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.
- MPEDA has evolved a Marine Products (Quality Marking) scheme to grant logo as a mark of quality which is to be affixed on seafood products exported from India by the registered seafood processors who meet the criteria prescribed, which will make marketing their products easier.
- 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.