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FSSAI Standards for Basmati Rice

Context:

For the first time in India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has specified the identity standards for Basmati Rice which will be enforced with effect from 01 August 2023.

Relevance:

GS III: Agriculture

Dimensions of the Article:

  • About Basmati rice
  • What are the Standards for Basmati Rice?

About Basmati rice:

  • Basmati rice is a premium variety of rice with its origin in India and some parts of Pakistan.

Origins:

  • Basmati rice is cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of the Indian subcontinent.

Unique Characteristics:

  • It is known for its long grain size, fluffy texture and unique inherent aroma and flavour.

Cultivation:

  • Basmati rice is grown in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, UT of Jammu and Kashmir and western Uttar Pradesh.
  • Agro-climatic conditions of the areas where Basmati rice is grown, as well as the method of harvesting, processing and ageing of the rice, contribute to the uniqueness of Basmati rice.

Popularity:

  • Basmati is widely consumed both domestically and globally and India accounts for 2/3rd of its global supply.

Adulteration:

  • Being a premium quality rice and fetching a price higher than the non-basmati varieties, Basmati rice is prone to various types of adulteration for economic gains such as undeclared blending of other non-basmati varieties of rice. 

What are the Standards for Basmati Rice?

Standards have been notified under Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) First Amendment Regulations, 2023 for the trade of Basmati rice to establish fair practices and protect consumer interest both domestically and globally.

Unique Fragrance and Flavour:

  • Basmati rice shall possess the natural fragrance characteristic of Basmati rice.
  • Basmati rice has a unique fragrance and flavour due to the presence of a chemical called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline.

Free from Artificial Ingredients:

  • It should be free from artificial colouring, polishing agents and artificial fragrances.

Grain Size and Elongation Ratio:

  • Standards also specify the average size of Basmati grains and their elongation ratio after cooking.

Moisture, Amylose Content, and Defective Grains:

  • Maximum limits of moisture, amylose content, uric acid, defective/damaged grains and incidental presence of other non-basmati rice etc.

-Source: Indian Express


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