ICAR-CIFT, Cochin, the Central Institute mandated for research and development in harvest and post harvest technologies of fisheries, organized three-day Skill Development Programme on “Microbiological Examination of Fish and Fishery Products” during 25-27 September, 2018. The training programme was sponsored by National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad. Twenty Five seafood technologists from different seafood processing plants from different parts of the country have participated in this programme. The programme focused on improving the skill of seafood technologists and post graduates for testing the fish and fishery products on microbial parameters to meet the food safety standard.
The programme was inaugurated by Dr. C.N. Ravishankar, Director, ICAR- CIFT. At the outset, Dr. Ravishankar welcomed the participants of the training programme and expressed gratitude for the overwhelming response for the programme from the fishing industry. He stressed on the need of assessing and monitoring the microbiological parameters of seafood in perspective of the present food safety regime. He also stressed the need for the participants to make use of all the laboratory and library facilities available at ICAR-CIFT for improving the food safety standards of the highly sensitive seafood industry. He also thanked NFDB for having sponsored the programme. Dr. M.M. Prasad, Head, MFB Division and Course Director gave the details of the programme schedule and briefed how it is beneficial to the participants. Earlier, Dr. V. Murugadas, Scientist welcomed the gathering and Dr. S. Visnuvinayagam, Scientist proposed the vote of thanks.
There were theoretical and practical sessions on different topics in Microbiology. The topics covered in the training included: Human health bacteria associated with fish and fishery products, Importance of sampling techniques in seafood industries, Interpretation of microbiological data in seafood, Enumeration of aerobic plate count of different pathogenic organisms, Isolation and identification of different microorganisms, Biochemical and serological tests based for different microorganisms, Identification of organisms by using PCR methods and Gel electrophoresis and visualization of amplicon by Gel documentation.
The valedictory function was held on 27September, 2018 which was presided over by Dr. Ravishankar. Dr. N. Bhaskar, Advisor (Quality Assurance), FSSAI, New Delhi was the Chief Guest of the function. While addressing the participants the Chief Guest congratulated ICAR-CIFT for conducting the ‘need of the hour’ programme, wherein microbial quality of fish and fishery products is of utmost importance. The programme was highly appreciated by the participants as they could learn many microbiological tests to enumerate and identify microorganisms that are present in different fish and fishery products. After the feedback, certificates were distributed by the Chief Guest to the participants. The programme came to an end with vote of thanks by Dr. M.M. Prasad.