|June 1, 2004,
as reported by just-food.com: Basmati rice buyers
will soon be able to purchase with confidence as scientists
have developed a reliable DNA screen that will be able
to determine the purity of a shipment.
Scientists at Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL)
say that their screening method is able to detect the
presence of other rice varieties mixed with basmati,
and to distinguish between the different varieties of
basmati. Since some varieties of basmati rice attract
a premium price, and are labeled accordingly, RSSL says
the DNA screening method will help the industry to label
its rice products accurately.
"During the development of this testing methodology
we have been able to demonstrate that it is possible
to source basmati rice that is free of contamination
with other rice varieties. Although some mixing of rice
species is permitted, those suppliers seeking to provide
a premium product will welcome the assurance that this
method gives in verifying that their supplies are 100%
pure," said Dr Andrew Tingey, head of the molecular
biology laboratory at RSSL.
“Given that the Food Standards Agency is campaigning
for tighter controls on the purity of basmati rice sold
as 'pure', this development is a timely advance and
will give rice importers a quick and reliable means
of authenticating their supplies,” RSSL said.
The method has been validated on all of the commercially
available varieties of basmati rice and will give suppliers
and consumers confidence in the accuracy of product
labeling, RSSL said.