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First Food Safety and Quality Control Lab opened in Ahmedabad

Akshaya Patra has opened its first Food Safety and Quality Control Lab (FSQC Lab) in Ahmedabad. Aimed to evaluate food from farm to plate, the lab has been fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, and high-precision testing instruments. Some of the technology featuring in the lab are the Atago make table top refractometer which will be used to analyse total soluble solids, fat purity, adulteration of oil etc. Another interesting machine is the Shimadzu make spectrophotometer which will be used to evaluate DNA/protein concentration, absorbance, transmittance and more.

The lab was set up with the technical assistance of the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, and was inaugurated in the presence of Dr Sanjiv Phalsankar, Programme Director, Tata Trusts; Dr Alok Srivastava, Senior Principal Scientist, Dept of Food safety and Quality Control Lab; Representatives from the Food and Drugs Control Administration, Government of Gujarat; Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman, Akshaya Patra Foundation; Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice- Chairman, Akshaya Patra Foundation and Jaganmohan Krishna Dasa, Unit President, Gujarat.

The highly specialised lab has been fitted with the latest equipment for measuring microbial count by using a filtration technique with pre sterilized membranes of 0.45 microns. The lab is also equipped with imported Duran make glassware to undertake physical and chemical analysis with utmost accuracy. The lab has a fume hood and exhaust systems in place to keep the environment clean, and free of contamination. Adding to this, the lab has precision weighing scales of 0.0001g accuracy to weigh chemicals for microbiological and chemical analysis. The results of all the tests concluded in the laboratory are recorded in real time on the computer.

Speaking on the occasion Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman of Akshaya Patra said, "It is indeed a great moment to have a state-of-the-art food safety lab being inaugurated at Ahmedabad. All the kitchens of Akshaya Patra follow a standard process for preparing the mid-day meals. This process is charted out to ensure hygiene and quality of the cooked meal and also to adhere to the food safety standards."

The lab was sponsored by the Jamsetji Tata Trust.

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