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- For the first time in the country, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has specified the identity standards for Basmati Rice vide Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) First Amendment Regulations, 2023.
- Basmati rice is a premium variety of rice cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of the Indian sub-continent.
- It is universally known for its long grain size, fluffy texture and unique inherent aroma and flavour.
- Due to its unique quality attributes, Basmati is a widely consumed variety of rice both domestically and globally and India accounts for two-thirds of its global supply.
Need for standardization:
- 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 which may include, among others, undeclared blending of other non-basmati varieties of rice.
- Therefore, in order to ensure supply of standardized genuine Basmati rice in domestic and export markets, FSSAI has notified regulatory standards for Basmati rice.
- These standards have been framed through extensive consultations with the concerned government departments/agencies and other stakeholders as well.
- The identified standards for Basmati Rice include Brown Basmati Rice, Milled Basmati Rice, Parboiled Brown Basmati Rice and Milled Parboiled Basmati Rice.
- As per these standards, Basmati rice shall possess natural fragrance characteristics of basmati rice and be free from artificial colouring, polishing agents and artificial fragrances.
- These standards also specify various identity and quality parameters for basmati rice such as:
- average size of grains and their elongation ratio after cooking;
- maximum limits of moisture,
- amylose content,
- uric acid,
- defective/damaged grains and
- incidental presence of other non-basmati rice etc.
- The standards are aimed at establishing fair practices in the trade of Basmati rice and protect consumer interest, both domestically and globally. These standards will be enforced w.e.f 1st August, 2023.
Must Read Article: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/basmati-rice