There are reports of formalin-contaminated fish consignments making their way past border check points in Kerala. There is also a fear that fish sourced from harbours in north Kerala are unsafe to consume. These need to be investigated too. Formalin is used to as a tissue preservative. Anatomy and pathology laboratories also use it in embalming. It is a toxic aliphatic compound. Using it in the fish trade at the cost of our health and in pursuit of quick money is to be condemned. The Hindu is to be complimented for uncovering the cut-throat competition in the fish trade which has resulted in ethics being cast to the winds. To overcome the problem and detection a kit from CIFT has introduced and commercialized recently to a Mumbai based company.
CIFTest, the rapid detection kit developed by the ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin to detect the presence of chemical preservatives formalin and ammonia in fish is set for commercial production. The technology has been licensed to the Mumbai-based HiMedia LaboratoriesPvt. Ltd., and the formal exchange of the MoU was held at ICAR-CIFT, Cochin.
Dr.Ravishankar, C.N., Director, ICAR- CIFT said that the Institute has been in the forefront of technology development for the harvest and post harvest fisheries sectors. The development of the detection kit was in response to the felt needs of the ordinary fish consumer to detect contaminants and allay their apprehensions.
Mr.Vishnu Warke, Director, HiMedia Laboratories reiterated the commitment of the company to provide their products to the Indian and export market at affordable prices.
Smt. S.J. Laly and Smt. E.R. Priya, Scientists of ICAR-CIFT who developed the rapid detection kits in record time, were felicitated during the function.