Food regulator FSSAI
Food regulator FSSAI for the first time has come out with comprehensive standards for the identification of basmati rice as part of efforts to ensure fair trade practices and check adulteration.
Basmati rice should have the natural fragrance characteristics of basmati rice and there should be no artificial coloring, polishing agents, and artificial fragrances.
These standards, which have been notified, will be effective from August this year.
“For the first time in the country, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has specified the identity standards for basmati rice…,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Basmati rice includes brown basmati rice, milled basmati rice, parboiled brown basmati rice, and milled parboiled basmati rice.
The FSSAI has come out with these standards through Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) First Amendment Regulations, 2023 notified in the Gazette of India.
“As per these standards, basmati rice shall possess natural fragrance characteristics of basmati rice and be free from artificial coloring, polishing agents, and artificial fragrances,” the statement said.
These standards also specify various identity and quality parameters for basmati rice such as the average size of grains and their elongation ratio after cooking.
These norms also state maximum limits of moisture, amylose content, uric acid, defective/damaged grains, incidental presence of other non-basmati rice, etc.
Being a premium quality rice and fetching a price higher than the non-basmati varieties, the ministry said that the basmati rice is prone to various types of adulteration for economic gains which may include, among others, the undeclared blending of other non-basmati varieties of rice.
Therefore, to ensure supply of standardized genuine basmati rice in domestic and export markets, FSSAI has notified regulatory standards for basmati rice that have been framed through extensive consultations with the concerned government departments/agencies and other stakeholders as well.