The two day 4th annual conference of AOAC International with Food Science and Safety attracted around 150 delegates and pulled together international educators, scientists, scholars, researchers, industry professionals, laboratory chemists, policy-makers, and graduate students. Overall, it provided a unique opportunity to review the two-way commitment of analytical sciences to society as well as the commitment of a safe society to the field of analytical chemistry. The conference held in The Park Hotel of New Delhi on 11th and 12th November.
The aim of this conference was to engage with various stakeholders so as to establish the Indian Section as the leader in food science and safety. Keeping the broad goals of the Conference in mind, the eminent speakers (from India, South East Asia, USA, UK and Europe) explained the delegates about various facets of food analysis, food authenticity, global food safety issues and quality control regulations.
The conference started with the inauguring session with Mr. Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and Dr. Kaushik Banerjee, President, India Section of the AOAC INTERNATIONAL. Mr. Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), stressed at the prospect of the AOAC-India section and envisioned that the interfacing between the FSSAI and other reputed international agencies can foster not only the growth of the analytical, but also scientific communities, in general.
The presidential address was delivered by Dr. Kaushik Banerjee, President, India Section of the AOAC INTERNATIONAL, followed by two keynote addresses delivered by Mr. Agarwal and Dr. Eric Konings, Past President, The AOAC INTERNATIONAL. Dr. Kaushik Banerjee described the role that the AOAC-India Section plays to strengthen the analytical community in the country. He appraised the audience about the section’s activities and also gave a clarion call that academia, industry and testing laboratories should integrate for the nation’s sake.
Dr Konings in his keynote address gave an overall historical backdrop of the AOAC INTERNATIONAL and later discussed the current activities of the organisation. He also emphasized on the latest codex rule that is coming up and the prospect of the AOAC-India Section in partnering it with the AOAC INTERNATIONAL for India’s specific standards and Indian food matrices. In the inaugural session, Dr S. K. Saxena, Director, Export Inspection Council, talked about more than 3000 accredited laboratories in India, which are already working on establishing new standards for India’s specific interest and also mentioned that these laboratories can be largely benefited by conducting yearly proficiency testing.
With an opportunity to explore, network and discuss issues in the topics on analytical sciences the industry representatives were seen keenly interested in the discussion on topics like Challenges in Food Safety Regulatory Compliance, Environmental persistence of veterinary drug residues – a neglected cause of residues, Ensuring Food Safety through Harmonization of Analytical Methodology, Analytical Quality Control Techniques in a Testing Lab and New Frontiers in Food Analytics.
The eminent speakers present at the conference were Dr. Paul Young, Senior Director for Government Affairs at Waters Corporation, Dr. Ranjan Mitra, President-Elect, India Section of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, Dr. A. Laxmaiah, Scientist F & Head, Division of Community Studies, National Institute of Nutrition, ICMR-Hyderabad. Mr. R K Gupta, Head (QA / Sur.), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.Strengthening of Food Testing System in India. Ms. Navita Yadav, Scientist-C, Food & Agriculture, Bureau of Indian Standards.India’s standards development process as it pertains to Food and Agriculture. Ms. Rini Narayan, Accreditation Officer Gr. II, National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).