On 24th October 2016, Akshaya Patra inaugurated its second Food Safety and Quality Control Laboratory in the Amausi Industrial Area in Lucknow. Our first laboratory was set up in Ahmedabad in 2015.
Our new laboratory was inaugurated in the presence of Mr. Alok Dhawan, Director and Dr. Mukul Das, Chief Scientist and Area Co-ordinator of CSIR – Indian Institute of Toxicology Research. The state of the art lab is equipped with advanced technology and high precision testing instruments, which will be used for evaluating food from farm to plate. We source the vegetables and grains for our school lunches from local sources as much as possible, with the aim of supporting the local economy and reducing our carbon footprint.
The highly specialised facility will cover 20 of our kitchens across India, and conduct more than 50 analyses per day. This will help us to minimise potential hazards, protecting consumers' health and maintaining nutritional levels as per midday meal guidelines. The food testing services will be able to examine and analyse the safety and quality of raw materials and finished products. Some of the areas covered are chemical, microbiological, physical and sensory examinations. The lab will also comply with the international regulations to govern issues such as chemical residues, pathogenic bacteria, allergens and additives.
Speaking on the occasion, Shridhar Venkat, CEO of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, thanked the Tata Trust for extending their support in setting up our laboratory in Lucknow. He remarked that this initiative will further strengthen our food safety and quality control practices, and will assist the organisation in continuing to serve healthy and nutritious food to children.