Rapid Analytical Food Testing (RAFT) Kit/ Equipment/ Method
In its 27th meeting held on 04.02.2019, the Food Authority had approved the notification of Draft amendment to FSS (Laboratory and sample analysis) Regulation, 2011 and the proposal for operationalization of the said amendment. Following clause was inserted in the ibid regulations
2.4 Approval of Rapid Analytical Food testing Kit, Equipment or Method
2.4.1 Food Authority may approve Rapid Analytical Food testing Kit, Equipment or Methods for the purpose of testing of Food.
2.4.2 The procedure for approval of Rapid Analytical Food testing Kit, Equipment or Methods shall be as per the guidelines that may be framed by the Food Authority from time to time.
Thereafter, a direction was issued under section 16(5) vide letter no. 01/Lab & sample Analysis/Reg/2019 dated 05.07.2019 regarding operationalization of the aforesaid Regulations.
FSSAI framed a procedure for approval of Rapid Analytical Food Testing (RAFT) Kit/Equipment/Method for the purpose of testing of food articles. The guidelines mentioning the procedure for approval of rapid kit/equipment/method are in place.
FSSAI has constituted a committee for scrutinization of Rapid Analytical Food Testing (RAFT) Kit/ Equipment/ Method Applications received by FSSAI under its RAFT Scheme. The recommendations of RAFT committee shall be ratified by the Scientific Panel on Methods of Sampling and Analysis and the Competent Authority before adoption/implementation. The recommended rapid kit/equipment/method meets the requirements of the Food Safety and Standard Regulations and are validated against International Standards.
The purpose of the approval by FSSAI to Rapid Analytical Food Testing (RAFT) Kit/Equipment/Method was to be able to carry out on the spot field testing by Food Safety Officers (FSOs) or Mobile Testing Labs or to improve speed and reduce testing costs in food laboratories. The rapid food testing kit/equipment/method ensure “faster, better, cheaper” real-time testing of food. The rapid food testing kit/equipment/ method are better in terms of their size, faster in terms of their total run time and cheaper in terms of cost effectiveness as compared to conventional methods. These are expected to become an integral part of quality assurance/quality control programs in the food industry and also for both regulatory and surveillance purposes. These rapid kits/ equipments will facilitate the work of field officers/ analysts to get quick results for tests conducted on different food products. It would serve as a useful tool for screening and surveillance purposes.
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