Iran is the largest importer of Basmati Rice from India. However, in March this Year, Iran has set new food safety standards and all basmati rice exporters need to be aware of the new standards so that the rice export to Iran is not rejected by the Iranian food authorities. Indian exporters need to pay a closer attention to the new permitted levels of chemical contamination and metal residue in rice.
The Ministry of Health – Medication & Medical Education, Food & Drug Organisation of the Islamic Republic of Iran has already begun to implement the new standards for rice quality and hygiene criteria for rice import into Iran since 21st March, 2014.
According to the recommendations of the Tech. Committee of Supervision &Evaluation of Food & Beverages Department and Microbiology reviews for food and beverage products, Iran has revised standards for the import of rice. According to recommendations, it has lowered the permitted levels of contaminants and the new permitted levels state that
- Mycotoxins like Aflatoxin B1 cannot be above 5ng/g while Deoxynivalenol (DON) levels must be maintained at below1000ng/g and Zearalenone below 200ng/g.
- Permitted levels for heavy metals like lead has been reduced to 120ppb and cadmium levels have to be limited to 48ppb.
- Microbial contamination like Counting Bacilos Samus and Counting Moulds cannot be more than1x10³ cfu/g.
It has also become mandatory for Indian basmati rice exporters to provide a number of certificates from the concerned authorities in India. All rice consignments to Iran must be accompanied by these certificates. All certificates have to be duly attested by the Iranian Embassy in India.
- GMO certificate
- Certificate that the rice is free from phenol
- A lab report from a recognised and certified laboratory that provides details about the maximum residue of pesticides in the rice.
- The sampling has to be according to the latest Iranian National standards, No.12004 and 13535.
- The permitted weight for each pack has to be 1-20kg.
Following Table Showing the Rice Quality and Hygienic Criteria for Import by the Food & Drug Organization, Islamic Republic of Iran.
|Aflatoxin B1||5 ng/g|
|Aflatoxin Total||30 ng/g|
|Achratoxin A||5 ng/g|
|Counting Bacillus cereus||1×103 cfu/g|
|Counting Moulds||1×104 cfu/g|
For Pesticides – As per the latest Standard Review of Iran (No. 13120)
You can also refer for further details on the above: http://fdo.behdasht.gov.ir/
All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) is of the view that Indian basmati exporters will have no problems in fulfilling the new rice criteria set by Iran.