FSSAI sets standards for Basmati Rice

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) notified basmati rice standards in an effort to promote the business of basmati rice. They will go into effect on August 1, 2023.

Rice Basmati

  • As of 2019, India accounted for 65% of global basmati rice trade, with Pakistan accounting for the remaining 35%.
  • Many countries consume domestically grown basmati rice; however, basmati is geographically restricted to certain districts of India and Pakistan.
  • India produces more than 70% of the world’s basmati rice.
  • The states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Western Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir have geographical indications.

Standards set out by FSSAI

  • Basmati has the distinctive fragrance associated with this variety and is free of artificial fragrances and colouring.
  • Grain size: The authority has also established standards for parameters such as average grain size and elongation ratio after cooking.
  • It has established maximum moisture, amylose content, uric acid, damaged grains, and the presence of non-basmati rice.
  • Among the varieties are: Brown basmati rice, milled basmati rice, parboiled brown basmati rice, and milled parboiled basmati rice are all covered by the standards.

Economics of Basmati

  • Basmati rice is exported from India and earned Rs 25,053 crore in foreign exchange in 2021-22.
  • India produces two-thirds of the world’s basmati rice supply.

The significance of the change

  • The FSSAI hopes that the standards will protect the interests of consumers while also ensuring the quality of basmati rice.
  • After Pakistan objected, India’s application for a geographical indication tag recognised in the European Union market was halted in 2020.
  • Previously, in 1997, the Texas-based company RiceTec developed and patented American basmati varieties.
  • These were marketed as ‘Kasmati’ and ‘Texmati’ in the international market.
  • The patent was challenged in 2000 by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India’s premier science and industry organisation, who claimed that the term “basmati” could only be used for rice grown in India and Pakistan.
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