Mangaluru, March 11, 2020: The Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod, Kerala is likely to take up a study to enable the stakeholders of arecanut to impress upon the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to re-fix the standard level of moisture in arecanut.
At present, the maximum standard moisture level for arecanut fixed by the FSSAI stood at 7 %. Now, the stakeholders want the same to be re-fixed at 14 % to help in the marketing of the produce. The stakeholders, who discussed the matter in the city recently under the auspices of the Arecanut Research and Development Foundation (ARDF) and Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd. (CAMPCO), resolved that the CPCRI should take up a year-long study to enable them to urge the FSSAI to re-fix the standard, sources told The Hindu.
Homi Cheriyan, Director, Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development, Kozhikode, Kerala, and K.B. Hebbar, Principal Scientist and Head, Physiology, Biochemistry and Post Harvest Technology, CPCRI, were among those who participated in the meeting. The others who took part in the meeting included representatives from Totgars Cooperative Sale Society Ltd. (TSS), Sirsi; Malnad Areca Marketing Cooperative Society Ltd. (MAMCOS), Shivamogga, Tota Utpannagala Maraka Sahakara Santha Niyamitha (TUMCOS), Channagiri, CAMPCO, ARDF, FSSAI and the All India Areca Growers Association, the sources said.
A report in the book, “Arecanut Research and Development”, published by the CPCRI in 1985, said that generally when ripe arecanuts are dried under good sunlight for 35-40 days to get white chali variety and when tender arecanuts are dried for 10-12 days to get red batlu variety, the moisture level in them varied between 5.5 % and 13.4 % depending on the size of the nuts and other climatic conditions.
As the moisture content in arecanut was beyond 7 %, some of the stakeholders found it difficult in marketing their consignments. Hence, there was a need to re-fix the standard, the sources said.
The meeting resolved that the CPCRI should collect samples of white chali and red batlu varieties from different areas for its study. It should submit an interim report first. The final report should be submitted after a year-long study.
Mahesh Puchchappady, general secretary, All India Areca Growers Association, Puttur, said that revising the standard to the actual level helped in the marketing of the produce abroad. In addition, it would help in checking the quality of arecanut imported.