- No paddy by the name Miniket or Nazirshal
- Millers polish coarse paddy varieties to make up the brands
- The excessive polishing takes away nutritional rice values
- Policy on the cards to limit rice polishing, mandate paddy variety mentioning
Agri-experts and nutritionists have recommended stopping marketing rice under any names other than those of recognised paddy varieties.
Currently, rice is being sold under various fancy names such as Miniket, Nazirshal etc. To protect the rights of consumers, the paddy varieties should be mentioned on the packets of rice, they told a seminar titled "Nutrition and Quality Assessment of Polished Rice Sold in Bangladesh" in Dhaka Wednesday.
The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority organised the programme where its member Prof Abdul Alim revealed the findings of a research.
Prof Alim said new paddy varieties are being introduced in the country, but we do not find the rice brands in the market. Instead, we get rice under different names such as Miniket and Nazirshal that are not any paddy varieties.
He said there are no paddies by the names Miniket and Nazirshal. Different coarse paddy varieties are polished to make these shiny and bright rice "brands", but excessive polishing of rice reduces its nutritional value.
A six-member research team including Prof Alim conducted the study on BRRI-26 paddy. They compared the nutritional values of polished and unpolished rice varieties.
The findings suggest both parboiled and sundried rice loses substantial amounts of protein, vitamin, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus thanks to excessive polishing.
The researchers made a number of recommendations including limiting rice polishing to the highest 8%, maintaining the maximum moisture content in rice at 11%, and shaping a mass campaign to make people aware of excessive polished rice.
The seminar was attended by rice millers from different parts of the country and most of them admitted that there is no Miniket paddy variety. They said that coarse paddies are polished to turn them into the premium rice brand to meet the increasing demand.
As the chief guest of the programme, Food Secretary Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum said, "We ourselves have become accustomed to fine and milky white rice. A policy is also being formulated banning excessive polishing.
She said the policy will also mandate mentioning the paddy variety on rice sacks.
Food Safety Authority Chairman Md Abdul Kayowm Sarker presided over the seminar, while another member of the research team Mohammad Ali Siddiqui, Dhaka University Professor Nazma Shaheen and private television channel DBC News Editor Pranab Saha were present among others.