ICAR-CIFT recognised as National Reference Laboratory for Fish and Fish Products


ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin has been conferred with a status of “National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for Fish and Fish Products” by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India under Regulation 3 of Food Safety and Standards (Recognition and Notification of Laboratories) Regulation, 2018 on 19th March, 2019 vide Order No. 12013/02/2017-QA. ICAR-CIFT is the only research Institute under SMD (Fishery), ICAR to be adorned with such a high profile recognition. The Institute had already been notified as National Referral Laboratory vide Government of India Gazette Notification S.O. 97(E) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) dated 10th January, 2017. Along with ICAR-CIFT, eight more laboratories in Government sector and five laboratories in private sector have also been given the status of National Reference Laboratory in specific areas.


With the vision of creating a laboratory system network on par with global food testing laboratories;Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) hasnotified 13 food testing laboratoriesin the country, which are accredited as per appropriate ISO/IEC standards for method development, method validation, proficiency testing and training by National/ International accreditation bodies.


As per FSSAI guidelines, the functions of National Reference Laboratory (NRL) are as follows:

  • Be the resource centre for provision of information on certified reference materials  
  • Develop standards for routine testing procedures and reliable testing methods
  • Provide technical support in the area of competence
  • Evaluate the performance of other notified laboratories 
  • Coordinate exchange of information amongst notified laboratories
  • Collaborate for data generation among network of notified food laboratories and referral food laboratories and collate the data related to their specific domain
  • Carry out such other functions, as may be specified by the Food Authority from time to time in the related areas

Under the NRL notification, ICAR-CIFT has earmarked with the following research activities on emerging issues pertaining to:

  • Risk assessment of dietary exposure of persistent organic pollutants and emerging contaminants such as brominated flame retardants and pharmacologically active substances to Indian population from fish and fisheries products.
  • Research on ingression of specific migration of chemicals from plastic packaging materials to fishery products
  • Research on incidence of biotoxins in finfish/shellfish

All rights reserved © Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT)