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After Maggi ban in Maharashtra, FDA labs to be upgraded soon

Rs 8 crore sanctioned for Mumbai, additional floor will be built at FDA headquarters in BKC as an extension to the Bandra laboratory.

maggi ban, maggi news, maggi ban news, maggi sale, maggi ban in india, maggi test, maggi FDA, FDA lab, FDA upgradation, FDA lab upgradation, BKC, mumbai news, india news According to FDA, testing of pasta and noodles requires high-end technique to assess each ingredient, which forced them to take help from private labs

Post the Maggi ban in Maharashtra, the rigorous exercise of testing several variants of noodles, especially the ready-to-eat ones, has forced the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to acknowledge the need to upgrade its laboratory facility, which until now relied on external laboratories to conduct certain kind of tests.

Since the beginning of this year, the Centre and the state government have been together funding a massive laboratory upgrade project worth over Rs 115 crore. The amount to be spent over the next three years will be used to procure high-end equipment, improve infrastructure and testing facility at drug and food testing laboratories. Two new laboratories in Pune and Nagpur are also coming up as part of the project.

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A budget of Rs 8 crore has been sanctioned to upgrade the existing laboratory in Mumbai. An additional floor will be added to the FDA headquarters in Bandra Kurla Complex as an extension to the Bandra laboratory.

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According to data collected from the FDA, seven different technologies will be incorporated to improve the food testing facility while five other techniques will be installed for testing drugs.

“The delay in getting results due to dependence on other labs will reduce. Our laboratory will be better equipped to handle certain sensitive tests. We are also hiring on contractual basis to fill the gap of huge vacancies,” said Maharashtra FDA Commissioner Dr Harshdeep Kamble.

According to the procurement list prepared by the FDA, a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) technique will now be installed. HPLC determines the quantity and identity of each ingredient in a mixture in a drug composition. The test will be helpful to check whether a particular ingredient is in excessive quantity or if a prohibited substance has been added.

According to FDA officials, the testing of pasta and noodles variants requires sophisticated technique to assess each ingredient and its measurements, which had forced them to take help from private laboratories. With the HPLC, the number of articles tested will substantially rise. Additionally, an HPLC with UV rays and another with fluorescent light will also be installed.

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As a part of the upgrade project, other food testing technologies such as food inductive coupled plasma, automatic extraction for oil and fat unit, microwave digestion system, spectrophotometer, fully automated Elisa analyser and Gerber centrifuge will also be brought in.

“The Centre will be funding 70 per cent of the project. We have a span of three years to utilise the sanctioned funds,” Kamble added. FDA officials are now hopeful that increased independence in its testing mechanism will help in rotating the samples fast. “It will also help in wrapping up cases quickly. Moreover, the cost involved in packing and transporting the article to another lab with full security will come down,” said a food department official.

tabassum.barnagarwala@expressindia.com

First published on: 03-11-2015 at 01:33:21 am
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