Superfood ‘Ant Chutney’


There is a demand for a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kai Chutney made from red ants by the tribals of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha.

  • In Odisha, scientists are conducting research to apply for a Geographical Indication (GI) registry of Kai Chutney.

  • Applied under the food category, the GI tag standard will help in developing Kai Chutney hygiene protocols for widespread use.

  • GI labels enhance the prestige and value of local products and support local businesses.

  • How is the Chutney prepared?

  • These are scientifically called Ocophila smaragdina, and are found in abundance in Mayurbhanj throughout the year.

  • They build nests with the leaves of host trees.

  • The leafy nests of ants are broken off from their host trees and placed in a bucket of water before the leaves are sorted and separated.

  • The larvae of the ants are preferred and are either eaten raw or mixed with spicy ingredients and turned into "chutneys".

  • The chutney is prepared by grinding salt, ginger, garlic and chillies and sold by the tribals in rural markets.

  • Ant Chutney

  • In the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, red ants are quite popular among the tribal people, from which mouth-watering food items – Kai Chutney are made.

  • Rich in valuable protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, fibre and 18 amino acids, this salty food item is known to boost the immune system and ward off diseases.

  • What is GI Tag?

  • It is an abbreviation of Geographical Indication.

  • It is an especial identity of any region, town or state.

  • The tag is given in the name of certain products or signs which symbolize the uniqueness of that particular area.

  • When a particular product is given a GI tag, it certifies that the product is made using traditional methods, has special properties.

  • Geographical Indication came into force on 15 September 2003.

  • Darjeeling tea was given the first GI tag in India in 2004-2005.

  • GI tag is given to products related to agriculture, handicrafts, food items, spirit drinks and industrial products.

  • India has more than 300 Geographical Indications as of now.

  • The rules and regulations of the GI tag are governed by the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights at the international level.

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