By Mr. Amit Chopra, Managing Director and VP/ GM India and Middle East, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
- What is your opinion on food safety in India? We have had numerous instances of food adulteration and contamination
Food is an essential part of everyone’s lives. It gives us the energy and nutrients to grow and develop, and thereby lead a healthier life. We are what we eat! Today’s consumer is aware of the importance of healthy eating. Also, the regulatory bodies are strengthening regulations for manufacturers. Regulatory bodies want to ensure that the manufacturers have a controlled process and ensure all forms of chemical, physical and biological contaminants are monitored and tested. It is mandatory today for the branded manufacturers to adhere to the standards set by the FSSAI.
Even the 2017 report released by Ministry of Health and Family welfare highlights the urgent need to upgrade the infrastructure in most of our food testing laboratories. We are witnessing collaborative efforts from the center, states and the private sector to address the challenge of food safety in the country which is very encouraging.
- What are your views on the growing awareness regarding the food safety in India?
With a rising population, the awareness regarding the safety of food has been growing at a phenomenal rate, especially in the urban areas. The global food trade is growing tremendously and since the last decade, rapid technological changes have been driving the food safety market. Growing food consumption, changing lifestyles of consumers, demand for convenience food and consumer awareness have massively reformed the food industry. All these factors are contributing to more intensive food safety mechanisms to ensure food quality which has taken on a new urgency and focus.
In India, the government has taken proactive steps to consolidate the laws relating to food safety. We believe the best way to give an impetus to food safety is through equipping our laboratories and manufacturers with latest innovative solutions to detect the safety of the food. And the Indian government and private institutions are taking path-breaking steps in this direction. The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India ensures laying down science based standards for food products and regulate the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import. Today, the regulatory agencies ensure that the manufacturers have a controlled process and ensure that all forms of chemical, physical and biological contaminants are monitored and tested.
- How can food and beverage industry respond to adulteration and other frauds using science and technology to ensure food safety?
Being one of the leading contributors to the global food basket, it is imperative to respond successfully to the growing food demand both domestically and globally for India. Analytical instruments and related technologies have enabled the food ecosystem to expand dramatically at an impressive pace. Today, our production-to-consumption food system is complex, and it becomes critical to ensure our food is safer, more nutritious, and readily accessible.
The best way to fight such food frauds and to detect harmful contaminants is through lab testing. For this, our labs must be modern and should be equipped with all the necessary equipment. Technology innovations like the advanced mass spectrometry and chromatography workflows now allow monitoring and detection of contaminants at lower levels with higher sensitivity. This helps to meet stricter regulatory guidelines and safeguard the label integrity of the foods we consume. As demand increases for healthier, safer and cleaner food sources, collaboration between food and science becomes even more critical. In fact, science and technology should be embedded more directly within the ecosystem so that we can more swiftly and decisively respond to safety and integrity issues.
- Contribution of Thermo Fisher to take food safety to the next level.
At Thermo Fisher, we are committed to ensuring healthy food for all and we have been working in tandem with the government policies in this area. We bring the necessary technology and innovation that is required to ensure food safety. Today, consumers are more conscious and are looking for healthy food options and their nutritional benefits. As the food supply is becoming more global, there are always new contaminants that need to be identified or lower levels of known contaminants that need to be quantified. The industry is looking out for solutions that can help them increase their productivity and reduce their costs at each step of the food chain.
We, at Thermo Fisher Scientific, offer highly-integrated workflow solutions, comprising of instruments, consumables, software and services for companies focused on food safety. From liquid, gas and ion chromatography systems to elemental analysis, mass spectrometry and isotopic analysis, we enable food manufacturers and related labs to determine purity, quality and authenticity and ensure safety from physical, chemical and biological contamination. From routine QA/QC to in-depth analysis of complex food matrices, our food industry portfolio is built to help labs to accelerate innovation, enhance productivity, reduce cost and adhere to regulatory guidelines.
Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)