FSSAI issues comprehensive standards for identification of basmati rice

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has, for the first time, come out with comprehensive standards for the identification of basmati rice as part of efforts to ensure fair trade practises and check adulteration. Basmati rice should have the natural fragrance characteristics of basmati rice, and there should be no artificial colouring, polishing agents, or artificial fragrances. These standards, which have been announced, will go into effect in August of this year.

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 the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) First Amendment Regulations, 2023, notified in the Indian Gazette.

As per these standards, basmati rice shall possess the natural fragrance characteristics of basmati rice and be free from artificial colourants, 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.

These norms also state maximum limits for moisture, amylose content, uric acid, defective or damaged grains, and the incidental presence of other non-basmati rice, etc. The standards are aimed at establishing fair practises in the trade of basmati rice and protecting consumer interests, both domestically and globally,” the ministry said. These standards will be enforced with effect from August 1, 2023. Basmati rice is a premium variety of rice cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of the Indian subcontinent and is universally known for its long grain size, fluffy texture, and unique inherent aroma and flavour; the ministry highlighted.