Food Corporation of India adopts new technology to determine age of milled rice

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To prevent malpractice and improper business activities, and to maintain good quality and standards of rice being supplied under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has introduced a new technology, Mixed Indicator Method, which determines the age of the milled rice stocks during acceptance.

It mainly prevents the millers from mixing old rice with fresh stocks.

All the raw rice procuring centres are being equipped with the testing equipment and chemicals to carry out the age testing method before accepting the raw milled rice across the country.

“After analysis of other parameters, five grams of sample will be taken for age determination of raw milled rice. The sample will be subjected to mixed indicator testing,” FCI Manager Ragal Kiran told The Hindu.

He said the FCI introduced the new method recently, and would implement it in the ensuing procurement of rice. The procurement season would commence from next month in Andhra Pradesh, he added.

The sample that shows ‘green / avocado green’ colour will alone be accepted. The stock that shows any other colour development, i.e. yellow, yellow-orange & orange, which indicates old stock, will be summarily rejected by terming it as “not freshly milled.”

“Five grams of rice will be kept in a 10 ml working solution and shaken for one minute. If the solution colour turns green or avocado green, the stock is freshly milled and accepted. If the colour is yellow or orange, the stock is identified as old and rejected.”Ragal KiranFCI Manager

Explaining the procedure involved in the mixed indicator test for age determination, Mr. Kiran said, “Five grams rice will be kept in a 10 ml working solution and shaken for one minute. If the solution colour turns green or avocado green, the stock is freshly milled and accepted. If the colour is yellow or orange, the stocks is identified as old and rejected.”

“The working solution chemicals include 0.05 grams of methyl red and 0.15 grams of bromothymol blue dissolved in 15 ml of ethyl alcohol and 100 ml of distilled water,” Mr. Kiran explained.

Colour coding

The FCI identifies different age groups of rice based on colour coding. Green in the resulting colour of solution indicates that the rice is fresh and procured within a month after harvesting. If the colour is avocado green, then the rice is one or two months old. If it turns yellow, that indicates three month old rice, and yellow- orange indicates four months old, and orange indicates five to six months old rice.

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