14 January 2023, New Delhi: Basmati rice is a premium variety of rice cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of the Indian sub-continent and is universally known for its long grain size, fluffy texture, and unique inherent aroma and flavor. Agro-climatic conditions of the specific geographical areas where Basmati rice is grown; as well as the method of harvesting, processing, and aging of the rice contributes to the uniqueness of Basmati rice. 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.
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, the undeclared blending of other non-basmati varieties of rice.
Therefore, to ensure the 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.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has specified the identity standards for Basmati Rice (including Brown Basmati Rice, Milled Basmati Rice, Parboiled Brown Basmati Rice, and Milled Parboiled Basmati Rice) vide 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 the natural fragrance characteristic of basmati rice and be free from artificial coloring, polishing agents, and artificial fragrances. 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; 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 protecting consumer interest, both domestically and globally. These standards will be enforced with effect from 1st August 2023.
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