Global Food Safety Testing – A Step Towards a Healthier Tomorrow

The pandemic served up some stark reminders of our visibly fragile mortality. Over the course of two years, Covid-19 ravaged humanity and yet it did leave behind silver linings.
Epidemic & global pandemic preparedness increased tenfold. Technological innovations were integrated sooner & the healthcare ecosystem worked in overdrive, accelerating its development of crucial vaccines. More importantly it instilled in the majority of us, the importance of the quality of food we consume and how it subsequently fuels our immune system.

Few of us can now deny the significance of maintaining a nutritious diet, cutting out junk food & mindfully integrating exercise into our daily routines. As the world moves towards healthier choices and understands that the onus lies on us if we desire a long & fulfilling life amidst our family and friends, the value on a wholesome & nourishing diet can not be understated in the slightest.

As the population boom shows no signs of slowing down, the demand on agriculture & the food industry continues its steep upward trajectory. Parallelly, urbanization has meant that our lives progress with unfathomable rapidity & convenience is a luxury we all seek out. Both these factors resulted in the Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) to state that global food production must be increased by 70% by 2050 to keep up with demand.

Herein lies the pressing matter. Food Safety Testing will not only take centerstage as the main supporting cast but shall implode exponentially because what is the point of increased food production without preserving its inherent quality.

  • As consumer knowledge & understanding of calories and ingredients builds, detailed food labels and safety accreditation shall become paramount.
  • Farmers, food manufacturers & suppliers will strive to improve quality of agricultural produce & invest in sustainable food products. Only the competent shall thrive.
  • Rising instances of food adulteration and contamination have made it necessary to scrutinize & detect disease causing chemicals, hazardous materials or organisms compromising our produce. This is leading to more food safety checks in the chain between farmer & consumer.
  • Stringent government regulations to battle food-poisoning signals that the food safety testing market priorly estimated at USD 19.5 billion in 2021 is now projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.9% to reach USD 28.6 billion by 2026.

Why do we need to ramp up food testing?

  • Cases of food-borne diseases or illnesses occur due to mistaken consumption of pathogens, mycotoxins or food laced with yeast & mold. The presence of pathogens like salmonella or E. coli combined with an easily avoidable mixture of pesticides, harmful fertilizers or chemicals are compromising the fuel we need to survive.
  • Greedy companies knowingly retailing harmful or expired varieties of widely desirable food products to pad profits.
  • Infectious & possibly fatal gastrointestinal diseases are on the rise as novel pathogens continue to emerge with vicious pace. Climate changes & drastic effects on the environment is also playing a part in their development.
  • The meat & poultry segment continues to account for the largest no. of such pathogens and even allows for the passage of extremely dangerous animal viruses into humans.

Research & Technology – Behind the Scenes:

  • Several currently used testing methods & equipment were considered to be primitive and unable to deliver accurate & authentic results. Inability to detect unknown adulterations meant a ton has been invested into research & development to develop more efficient & hopefully foolproof methods for identification of contaminants.
  • Focus lies on reducing cost of testing, sample utilization, higher sensitivity and large testing bandwidths for lesser turnaround times.
  • Innovations & breakthroughs have emerged in spectrometry & chromatography while features like automation, versatility and speed are nudging labs to adopt immunoassays and PCR kits for detection of pathogens in real-time.
  • Finally, industry leaders & scientific experts have suggested on multiple occasion to standardize and create a singular framework of food safety standards to eliminate duplication and redundancy/

Dive deeper into the fundamentals at the MarketsandMarkets Food Safety Testing Crystal Ball Event on the 30th of May 2022.

CLICK HERE TO EXPLORE & REGISTER FOR THE EVENT HERE or reach out to us at [email protected] regarding any queries you may have.

Ayush Kanitkar

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