FICCI Research and Analysis Centre: Ensuring Quality and Safety Standards in Food Manufacturing, Processing and Distribution

Shantanu Khandelwal,CEOIndian food and grocery market is the world's sixth-largest, with retail contributing 70 percent of the sales. While food, which has always been one of the largest segments in India's retail sector valued at USD 490 billion in 2013, this market is expected to reach USD 894.98 billion by 2020. With increase in food safety regulations since 2011, both the awareness and consciousness regarding food safety and hygiene has raised in general public as well as in food business operators. One such body addressing the emerging awareness among the consumers is FICCI Research and Analysis Centre (FRAC). Set up in 1989, FRAC is an ISO: 9001-2017 certified, NABL accredited, BIS, FSSAI empanelled laboratory working alongside both topmost private food businesses and esteemed government food bodies as well as for consumers, ensuring food safety at all levels.

One of the leading laboratories in India, FRAC provides one-stop solutions to assist different organizations involved in Food Manufacturing, Processing and Distribution, Fast-food chains and QSR's, Storage Facilities and Logistics and all related industries. An autonomous body registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, FRAC offers an unrivaled range of analytical testing services of food, beverages and environment which are backed by its knowledgeable staff, well-equipped facilities and wide range of certifications and accreditations. Some of the other offerings of FRAC include Nutritional Analysis and Proximate Analysis of Products, Physical Parameters Testing, Shelf Life Analysis, Packaging material testing, Sample
Collection services, Consultancy services related to lab setup, lab management, Technical support for accreditations and certifications, internal audits and feedback system, and many more.

Creating Awareness through Participation
It is always a challenge to make the consumers as well as the food manufacturers aware of the consequences of things like food adulteration, food hygiene, or more. FRAC was established as a Non-Profit Organization with the objective of not only keeping a quality check on food and beverages but also to do it with the social concern so as to reach all kinds of consumers irrespective of their social or economic background. "Food as a basic necessity has been processed and grown in all geographical locations of India and to collect and bring them to a single place is not easy. With very few trained food quality professionals in the country, it was difficult to find relevant manpower without compromising with our goals. Hence, we have started training graduates and postgraduates from these fields to make them industry compatible and are still following the same legacy. Our training for FoSTaC is backed by FSSAI and it thrives to provide the trainees with all the services related to product quality," shares Shantanu Khandelwal, CEO, FICCI Research and Analysis Centre (FRAC).

FRAC was established as a Non-Profit Organization with the objective of not only keeping a quality check on food and beverages but also to do it with the social concern

Today, FRAC has its own Research & Development segment that has been customized to serve all small, medium and big R&D requirements of food businesses. Its dedicated team of qualified and technical experts not only provides technical support to its clients to understand the results but also suggests the actions to be taken based on the results by our clients. With its focus on providing accurate results and timely reports, FRAC follows stringent processes to keep a check at each level of operation without compromising with the quality of its services.

Having worked with clients like Food and Nutrition Board, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Herb-a-life International (India) Private Limited, Perfetti Van Melle India Private Limited, Pernod Ricard India Private Limited, Wrigley India Private Limited, Jubilant Food Works Limited and more, in the years to come FRAC is planning to enter and explore the export market. It will increase on ancillary sectors of food and nutraceuticals such as pharmacology, food hygiene, CSR initiatives w.r.t Food Security & Food safety bills, and FRAC also plans to restructure laboratories to make it fully updated with the coming norms and requirements of the regulating bodies.