By Dr Saurabh Arora*
Basmati is a long grain aromatic rice. It is extra-long slender, soft and fluffy texture upon cooking, delicious taste, superior aroma and distinct flavor, The areas of Basmati Rice production in India are the states of J & K, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh
India is the leading exporter of Basmati Rice to the global market. The country has exported Forty Lac (40) MT of Basmati Rice to the world worth of Rs. 26,416.49 Crores/INR twenty six (26) thousand crore during the year 2021-22. The major importing countries include Iran, Saudi Arab, Iraq, United Arab EMTs, U S A, Europe and Yemen Republic. India’s rice exports have been turned away from foreign markets because of pesticide residues beyond the proposed Maximum Residue Limit.
Quality Regime in India:
India has established a Strong Quality Regimen through FSSAI, EIC, APEDA, plant and animal quarantine and different commodity Boards in setting standards, enforcing such standards through robust integrated accreditation system. The Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and stringent quality/phyto-sanitary standards are becoming the norm for restricting/preventing market access. As per the notification, the certificate of inspection by Export Inspection Agencies will be mandatory for exports to European countries. Basmati and non-Basmati rice requires certificates issued by the Export Inspection Council (EIC).
Technical Barriers to Trade: Maximum Residue Limit
India’s rice export to Europe declined around 40% over the issue of maximum residue level (MRL) in 2018-2019 as rice samples were found to have pesticides beyond the permissible limits. So, it is crucial that the rice samples pass the mandatory testing. There are stringent chemical residue norms on use of the pesticides acephate, carbofuran, propiconazole, thiamethoxam, thiophanate methyl, tricyclazole, chlorpyrifos, buprofezin, carbendazim and isoprothiolane. It is mandatory for manufacturers to register these pesticides in Europe and USA before they are allowed to be used for rice cultivation.
Impact of Pesticide Residues:
Several reports show that around 20-30% of agricultural produce is lost annually due to insect pests, diseases, weeds and rodents. Eventually, pesticides have become an integral part of modern rice technology and it is quite essential in rice production to avoid crop spoilage, however if it is used above the judicious level, it could be harmful for humans, domestic animals, and the environment. Pesticide above the safe level may cause acute poisoning and cancer in the long run.
Commonly found Residues of Pesticides in Rice:
Pesticide residue in rice not only affects the quality of the rice, but also threatens the health of consumers. The common pesticides used in rice production in the field are: Carbaryl, Lambda-cyhalothrin, malathion and zeta-cypermethrin are all broad-spectrum pesticides used on rice. Copper sulphate pentahydrate and diflubenzuron are narrow-spectrum pesticides that have a moderate duration impact, lasting between a few days and two weeks. Lipophilic pesticides are frequently found in brown rice, whereas fungicides are mainly found in milled rice. Carbendazim, malathion, iprodione, tebuconazole, quinclorac and tricyclazole are the pesticides most frequently found in white rice. Buprofezin, hexaconazole, chlorpyrifos and edifenphos are most commonly found in paddy rice.
Method of Pesticide Residue Detection
In order to identify the required levels of pesticides present in rice, exact and particular analytical techniques are essential. LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS which is liquid/gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry, has demonstrated to serve as a suitable technique for pesticide assessment as it offers elevated selectivity and sensitivity.
Quality you can trust: Pesticide Residue Testing at Auriga Research:
We are a pioneering NABL ISO/IEC 17025 Certified food testing laboratory that offers the testing for pesticide deposits in rice and many other foods. We have established an intensely responsive and quick approach for detecting pesticides in Rice samples. Our Laboratory has been authorized by the Export Inspection Council (EIC). We can conduct procurement testing, pre-shipment assessment and Inspection and Stuffing supervision. The results of an analysis are provided within 24-48 hours of the samples reaching our lab. We also conduct other tests including non-GMO certification, heavy metals, pesticide residue, microbiology and other quality parameters as per your requirements. We also provide inspection and assurance services in order to ensure that your product complies with all the regulatory requirements.
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*A prolific inventor, pharmacist, scientist, technophile, and visionary entrepreneur. He has been leading the contract, testing, certification, and research business at Arbro and Auriga since 2005 with labs in seven locations. Invented, patented, and commercialized SNEC 30, a scientifically advanced curcumin supplement; Founder of Food Safety Helpline; Founder and Mentor of Lab-Training.com