basmati rice authenticity (3)


Basmati rice is a high value rice because of its unique organoleptic properties, and hence is vulnerable to adulteration by non-Basmati varieties. Authentication of Basmati rice has been based on specific varietal identification using DNA markers - microsatellites or more recently KASP markers. Pakistan has designated a specific geographical region for Basmati varieties to be grown and applied to the European Commission for PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status of its Basmati rice.This study develops a method based on elemental analysis with chemometrics to differentiate rice grown inside and outside the recognised Basmati growing region. Sixty-four rice samples were collected from the Punjab region of Pakistan, 21 from the PGI region and 43 outside this region. Elemental analysis by ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) of 71 elements was performed on the samples and combined with DD-SIMCA (data-driven soft independent modelling by class analogy) for the differentiation of Pakistani rice grown inside and outside the PGI Basmati growing region, The model obtained achieved a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 98%, respectively.

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Basmati rice is a high value popular type of rice based on its distinctive organoleptic properties. Approval of varieties meeting the specification laid down for Basmati rice is undertaken by the Indian and Pakistani Export Authorities, and these have been accepted in a UK industry/enforcement Code of Practice (COP). Originally 15 varieties were approved to be marketed as Basmati, 9 of which are allowed to be imported tariff free into the EU as brown rice. New varieties have been bred for higher yield, disease and pest resistance, as well as salt tolerance, and 25 new varieties have been added to the COP. This has resulted in the need for new DNA markers to be investigated as the original DNA microsatellite method cannot identify the new varieties effectively. This study details whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and insertion/deletion (InDel) variations developed into KASP™ (Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR; LGC Biosearch Technologies) were more effective DNA markers for all the approved varieties of Basmati rice. The results provide a method that distinguishes 37 Basmati varieties from all others using between 3 and 8 KASP markers out of a pool of 98 informative markers. A reduced set of 24 KASP markers could determine whether a sample belongs to one of eight family groups.

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The UK Code of Practic for Basmati Rice was revised in 2017 to include 26 new varieties of Basmati developed by Indian and Pakistani plant breeders. This study by Eurofins reports the analysis of the DNA fingerprints of these cultivars using authentic samples from official sources to enable the authentication the new Basmati varieties. Results not only allow the enforcement of the revised CoP, but provide further insights into the genetic relationships between the varieties and their descended relationship with landrace and other hybrid varieties. The study also examined the genotype fgr, which is regarded as important for producing Basmati aroma, and this was found missing in 6 of the new varieties. It is not the only functional polymorphism associated with fragrance of rice and the content of aroma in these new varieties, so the study concludes that  these 6 varieties should be studied and further requirements should be defined, including the organoleptic characteristics of Basmati.

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