Royal Thai Consulate-General in Shanghai, China has taken steps to have three factories in Anhui province charged with selling counterfeit Thai jasmine rice in China. Charges are being imposed and publicized to ensure Chinese customers are aware of the quality of genuine Thai jasmine rice.
Prayoon Insakoon, permanent secretary of the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, said on Friday that the ministry is working with the Thai Agricultural Consular Office in China to press the case. Mr. Artinan Intharapim, the agricultural consul at the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Shanghai, had previously informed Mr. Prayoon about counterfeit Thai jasmine rice brands.
The consul discovered that the companies — Anhui Huainan Shouxian Yongliang Rice Industry, Anhui Xiangwang Cereals, Oils, and Food Technology, and Huainan Chufeng Industry and Trade — sold a processed local rice breed laced with artificial scent and flavouring and mislabeled it as Thai jasmine rice.
According to the investigation, the rice used in the companies’ products was Dao Hua Xiang rice, a local Anhui rice strain that was first bred in 2010. The rice factories scented their products with pyrazine and pyrrole. In China, both pyrazine and pyrrole are illegal food flavourings.
According to the investigation, the three companies purchased artificial scents from Shanghai Rofeeflavor Fragrant and Shanghai Fengmi Industrial. Both Shanghai-based companies were discovered to have manufactured unapproved artificial food flavourings.
Anhui Xiangwang Cereals, Oils, and Food Technology, which trademarked its product as Thai jasmine rice, was also charged with operating with an expired business registration.
Many online shops selling artificial food flavourings, according to Mr Prayoon, were closed after the news about the counterfeit rice was published. The three factories have been charged with processing foods in order to produce counterfeit goods.
Authorities seized production equipment for investigation, forcing the factories to close. He stated that the products and seized equipment would be destroyed following the investigation.
Jasmine Rice Thailand
Jasmine rice, also known as ‘fragrant rice’ and hom mali, was developed in Thailand in the 1950s and has since become a staple of the Thai diet as well as one of the country’s most important exports.
It is a long grain rice with a distinct aroma that is thought to be similar to that of the pandan plant locally, but Westerners may associate it more closely with popcorn. It gets its name from its colour, which is similar to that of the jasmine flower, rather than its fragrance.
Jasmine rice is available in white or brown rice and is known for its sweet, nutty flavour and light, delicate texture. Brown jasmine rice is higher in fibre and nutrients as a wholegrain, whereas white jasmine rice has a softer, slightly sticky texture when cooked.
Basmati rice, another long grain fragrant rice popular in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, is frequently compared to jasmine rice. Jasmine rice has a shorter, rounder grain than basmati rice, which is long and needle-shaped and expands to nearly twice its original size when cooked. Basmati rice, like American long grain rice, is dry and fluffy when cooked, whereas jasmine rice is moist and sticky.