Food testing and analysis is an essential part of the food safety ecosystem to assure that the food is safe to consume. This includes strengthening the network of food testing laboratories, assuring quality of food testing, investing in human resources, carrying out surveillance activities and educating consumers.
FSSAI has developed an IT solution for Indian food laboratory network called InFoLNet. This laboratory management system (LMS) is a centralized system that connects and collates the network of laboratories. The information on the InFoLNet would help categorize laboratories on a fit for purpose basis i.e., for regulatory requirements, routine testing, appellate testing etc. This LMS will also be a one stop portal for food laboratory information, ranging from ownership details, infrastructure availability, technical capacity, scope of testing through to test results of different samples. Apart from being the back bone of the network, this LMS will also be integrated to other FSSAI core IT systems, such as FLRS (Licensing and Registration), FICS (Import Clearance), Quick access, FoSTAC, etc. The centralized information will also have profound applications in deciphering risk analysis, enriching standards, capacity building and training.
FSSAI through its Scientific Panel on Methods of Sampling and Analysis is involved in revision of the existing testing methodologies and new parameters for analysis of various food articles. So far 13 new manuals on methods of food analysis have been finalized including Milk and Milk Products, Oil and Fats, Fruits and Vegetable products, etc. A Methods Review Group has been constituted to review manual of methods and update them, with experts from Scientific/Research Institutions, Regulatory Bodies, Independent Scientific experts (including instrumentation companies, private labs) etc.
As an essential part of the food safety ecosystem, the Authority has created a network of 232 laboratories to fulfill its mandate on food testing and analysis. The network comprises of 142 accredited primary food-testing laboratories from both government and private sphere, 72 state food testing laboratories and 18 referral laboratories of which two are under the direct control of FSSAI.