Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the 'Advanced Organic Testing Laboratory' at AmulFed Dairy in Gandhinagar in Gujarat. The state-of-the-art facility at AmulFed Diary, a unit of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) that sells its products under the 'Amul' brand, will verify whether food items labelled 'organic' are produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals.
In a release, the GCMMF said this is the first dedicated lab by the cooperative entity for conducting organic testing and supporting organic producers, adding there was the need for such advanced facilities due to the increasing demand for organic food products in India.
"Organic food is produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals. To meet these demands, an advanced laboratory for organic food testing plays a crucial role in verifying the organic integrity of food items," said the release.
"The laboratory employs various testing methodologies and techniques to detect the presence of pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants. It ensures organic food products adhere to national and international organic standards, enhancing consumer confidence and protecting public health," the GCMMF release added.
The organic industry relies on consumer trust and confidence, and organic testing laboratories play a pivotal role in building trust by providing reliable testing results and ensuring organic claims are backed by scientific evidence, the release said.
By upholding the integrity of organic products, the laboratory supports market demand for organic produce, benefiting both farmers and the industry as a whole, said GCMMF.
Notably, Amul, which ventured into the organic business in May 2022 with the launch of Amul Organic Atta, has expanded its organic product portfolio to include items such as Basmati Rice and Toor Dal, the release said.
Amul has installed various high-end equipment, such as Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS), Liquid Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (LC-MS), Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS), High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to conduct organic testing, said GCMMF managing director Jayen Mehta.
"This equipment will help identify and quantify organic compounds in food samples. They can detect pesticides, herbicides, and other organic contaminants, determine trace elements and heavy metals in food samples and also detect mycotoxins, additives, and preservatives," he said.
Amul aims to provide organic testing results meeting international standards to organic farmers and industry players at an affordable price, Mehta added.