In a major step to help seafood exporters ensure quality of their to survive global competition, the Marine Products Export Development Authority's first state-of-the-art microbiology laboratory was
inaugurated here on Sunday.

Unveiling the laboratory, Minister of State for Food Processing, Rameswar Teli said the new microbiology laboratory would help the seafood sector overcome stiff competition in the global export market, particularly on the quality front.

MPEDA ChairmanK S Srinivas said the laboratory would be used to test all sorts of seafood at various stages, including during production and prior to export, to avoid the presence of any bacteria.

"It will ensure that the exporters are not faced with rejection of their products by any country on the grounds of sub-standard quality," he said.

The laboratory was necessitated by the fact that USA, the European Union and other major seafood importers were tightening their quality norms on a regular basis in the interest of the health of their population.

This has promoted seafood exporters to enhance the quality of their products to survive competition.

Teli expressed the hope that all other sectors under the food processing industry, including tea growers in Assam and elsewhere, would go for such a laboratory to promote quality and give a fillip to exports.

He was all praise for the experts involved in the setting up of mega food parks in Palakkad and Alappuzha in Kerala, observing that work was going on in full swing.

MPEDA unveiled its laboratory on the third and final day of the 22nd India International Seafood Show organised jointly with the Seafood Export Association of India (SEAI).

"Blue evolution: Beyond Production to Value Addition" was the theme of the biennial event, attended by over 1,500 delegates, 50 of them from 12 foreign countries.

The biggest marine products fairs wound up its 22nd edition here on Sunday, showcasing the latest technological interventions in aquaculture and deliberating on matters that can give a fillip to the sector ahead of the next summit at Kolkata in 2022.

"Our seafood sector can improve with a joint effort of a handful of key ministries: Commerce, Fisheries, Environment and Health.

This key point found highlight at IISS-2020, much to our pleasure," said K S Srinivas, Chairman of MPEDA, which functions under the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry as an autonomous nodal agency for holistic development of seafood industry.

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