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First quality analysis laboratory in north-eastern region was formally inaugurated in Manipur during a simple function at Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Imphal centre on Tuesday.

The quality analysis laboratory which is equipped with more than 50 advanced analytical instruments was constructed under the financial assistance from mission for integrated development of horticulture of the state horticulture department.

Speaking to this reporter, scientist (Horticulture) Dr Subhra Saikat Roy of ICAR Imphal centre said that quality analysis of more than 100 quality parameters like carbohydrates, proteins, fat, pesticide residues, microbial contamination and adulteration of foods can be done with the opening of the lab.

“Besides we’ll also be doing research works and extend training programme on food quality analysis,” Dr Roy said.

The laboratory has been established primarily for quality analysis of fresh and processed horticultural products besides cereals, pulses, oil seeds, milk, meat and fish products can also be tested.

“So I hope this laboratory will play a great role in bringing food quality and food safety issued not only in Manipur but in the entire northeast region,” the ICAR scientist added.

“We’ve also applied to food safety authority of India for notifying the laboratory as a recognized food testing laboratory in Manipur,” he added.

Interested individuals can also avail the opportunity to undergo training programme on food quality analysis at the laboratory.

Nominal charges are kept for the farmers and entrepreneurs which ranges from Rs 100 to Rs 1000.

The laboratory will play a crucial role while exporting organic products from the State and also check the food quality of the imported products.

When sought his comment about using the newly inaugurated laboratory as a food testing centre for the food safety unit of the state health department, the designated officer Brojendra Khaba said that they’ve appraised the matter to the higher ups of the department for consideration.

In June last year, the state authority sent the fish samples for testing outside the State after traces of formalin were found in the imported fishes due to absence of such testing centre in the region.

The day’s laboratory inauguration function was attended by the forest and environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar, principal secretary (Horticulture and soil conservation) J C Ramthanga, director K Kipgen of state horticulture and soil conservation department, director Narendra Prakash of ICAR North Eastern Hill region Meghalaya, joint director I Meghachandra of ICAR Manipur centre.

In his speech, minister Shyamkumar also expressed that the laboratory will play an important role in quality analysis in Manipur and in the entire north-eastern region.

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