The FSSAI has issued a direction with respect to the protocol for all the notified labs to reinforce the prescribed method for fortificants testing.

The food authority’s direction says that in view of rice fortification initiatives taken by the Ministry Of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, it has communicated instructions, involved in testing of fortified rice, to all the notified labs.

The instructions include homogenisation of sample, intermediate checks for certified reference materials (CRMs), reminant samples and re-testing in case of complaints.

According to the FSSAI, Homogenisation of Sample means the entire sample received by the laboratory must be grinded to make it homogenous before weighing the sample for analysis to prevent the variation in results. Some of the fortificants to be analysed in ppb level, e.g., Vitamin B12 which is 0.75 mcg per Kg of rice.

And it is for the laboratory to ensure the adequate homogeneity achieved prior to take up samples analysis of micronutrients in the fortified rice.

For intermediate checks of CRMs, the laboratory needs to ensure the periodical testing of prepared certified reference materials to verify their potency, stability and necessary records of those verification should be maintained. The lab should ensure the storage of CRMs as per the supplier recommendations / MSDS.

For Reminant Samples, the FSSAI instructed that the lab should preserve the remaining quantity of tested sample (fully powdered) for at least 3 months from the date of reporting in a 5 to 10 degree C in refrigeration and for Re-testing in case of complaints in case of any complaints raised against the laboratory, the control samples should be retrieved from the lab which was tested initially and re-tested in another FSSAI notified NABL accredited laboratory.