Vishakhapatanam: The Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), a subsidiary of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Union Ministry of Defence is signing an MoU with Andhra University for establishing water and food research and testing lab in Visakhapatnam.
A team led DRDO chairman Sateesh Reddy and DFRL scientist Dr Kumar visited Visakhapatnam as part of the move to set up the lab. Andhra University (AU) expressed interest to operate the lab by providing required prime infrastructure like building and equipment etc.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, AU vice-chancellor Prasad Reddy said, “We will shortly sign an MoU and earmarked a 15000 square feet building on our campus for the lab.” The lab might be operational by June 2022, he said, adding that it would cater to the needs of the government, educational institutions and the public.
“Vizag will be first in Telugu states having such a unique food and water research lab. Since food and water is a global subject, its research and testing with help of technological solutions are much needed,” he said.
The DFRL at Mysore is actively researching various aspects of food science and technologies such as preservation of foods, their nutritional and biochemical evaluation, their safety and food packaging.
“We are preparing a detailed project report (DPR). The DFRL will take the responsibility for all technical guidance,” Prasad said.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, DRDO chairman Sateesh Reddy said that the Vizag’s lab is meant for civil food industries and entrepreneurs while the DFRL is at Mysore for the defence.
The laboratory will be equipped with modern state of art analytical instruments and equipment to test food and water samples, Sateesh Reddy said.
The food products grown in the districts of Visakhapatnam and neighbouring districts can be tested both fresh and processed products. The laboratory can analyze nutritional, microbiological quality parameters apart from pesticides and antibiotics residue, Sateesh added.
The scientist Kumar said that DFRL Mysore will be providing necessary technical support in getting the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) Accreditation and Food Safety and Standards Association of India (FSSAI) approval to notify as Referral Laboratory.
The lab will also be utilised for samples testing of food in poison-related cases like the one that happened recently in Eluru in West Godavari, where scores of people fainted after consuming food.
The lab may be working on different areas, which are directly and indirectly connected to food, like agriculture and biological sciences. Research studies on the importance of hygienic preserving of food, spoilage of food and safety of processed food may be included in the project, said an AU Professor from the Department of Science....