|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
“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
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.