A state-of-the-art laboratory to check traces of antibiotic residues in shrimps and other marine products was launched here today.
The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), by setting up its laboratory here, has met a long-standing demand from our seafood exporters who have set global benchmarks, Odishas Agriculture Production Commissioner Gagan Kumar Dhal said after inaugurating the laboratory
The MPEDA laboratory is fully equipped to check presence of Chloramphenicol and Nitrofuran, two banned antibiotics for which importers in USA and Japan have particularly insisted for analysis, MPEDA Chairman A Jayathilak said.
"We have had some instances of presence of antibiotics in the past, mainly the most commonly detected Chloramphenicol and Nitrofuran metabolites, and it has led to immediate response," he said.
There was a sustained demand from the industry to have a laboratory with modern equipment to identify the antibiotic residues up to the lowest and most microscopic levels, Jayathilak said.
Approved by the Export Inspection Council of India (EIC) under the laboratory approval scheme (LAS), the laboratory has started analysing Chloramphenicol and Nitrofuran metabolites in samples drawn under National Residue Control Programme (NRCP) and those drawn from the market, he said.
Alongside, the lab is developing facilities for validation of sulphonamides, the MPEDA Chairman said.
After completion of testing facilities for Tetracycline and sulphonamides, the lab will be fully ready for analysis of commercial samples meant for export to the EU also, he said.
Currently, these substances are being tested at other QC laboratories of MPEDA, he added.
At present, the quality control (QC) laboratory at Bhubaneswar can analyse samples submitted by farmers, processors and exporters as a part of their quality assurance for residue free raw material for processing and exporting.
In addition, MPEDA has two ELISA screening laboratories at Bhubaneswar and Balasore which are issuing Pre-harvest Testing (PHT) certificates to farmers for facilitating export to the European Union (EU) market.
Stating that India is poised to cross six billion dollars worth of exports for the first time, Jayathilak said this was made possible because both the farmers and exporters had paid a lot of attention to quality.