The Nestlé Food Safety Institute (NFSI) shares its space with the Research and Development Centre in Manesar.
It provides in-house research on analytical method development and chemical surveillance by testing materials for contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, mycotoxins or adulteration.
Nestlé invested around INR 250 crores in the R&D center and setting it up has led to an additional cost in the range of INR 6-8 crores.
Reducing foodborne disease burden
Nestlé India said enhancing skill development is a key priority.
“It will ensure that the broad competences and knowledge it has on offer are fully leveraged among relevant stakeholders, regulators and food business operators in India,” the company told us.
“Set up within the R&D centre, NFSI has at its disposal, laboratory space and high-end analytical equipment, access to cutting edge protocol and expertise of our global R&D network. It will leverage our expertise in food safety science as an incentive for new research collaborations and partnerships in the country.”
Nestlé India said food safety and hygiene is critically important to improve public health and consumer welfare in the country.
An approach including all stakeholders in the chain can help reduce the foodborne disease burden, it added.
NFSI will partner with academics, government agencies and research institutes and share knowledge and information on emerging food safety issues.
When asked if the move was related to the Maggi noodles incident two years ago, the firm would only say: “Food safety and quality are non-negotiable elements of our operations globally.
“The Nestlé Quality Management System is the platform that we use globally to guarantee food safety, compliance with quality standards and to create value for consumers.”
Inauguration with FSSAI
Pawan Agarwal, CEO, Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Suresh Narayanan, chairman and MD, Nestlé India inaugurated the first NFSI.
NFSI India will work with the Nestlé R&D Centre India and Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Nestlé Research and Development Center India was founded in 2012 and is a part of the global R&D network. The firm has about 40 R&D and Product Technology Centres (PTCs) worldwide.
“While two Nestlé personnel and an external consultant would be the focal points of NFSI, we will be accessing experts from our global network of about 40 R&Ds and PTCs as and when required. This includes our food safety specialists at the Nestlé Research Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland,” said Nestlé India.
Agarwal said: “NFSI India will conduct training programs on food safety management systems, testing methods and regulatory standards. We hope this institute will help meet India’s growing demand for safe and healthy food. I believe that there is a need for such institutes to spread awareness on safe and healthy food. ”
Narayanan said the food safety environment in India is changing dynamically and so are consumers.
“There is an increasing consciousness among them on the quality of food consumed. We at Nestlé strongly believe that food has a significant influence on our health and there should be collaborative efforts between regulatory bodies and industry for catering to the health and safety of consumers.”