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.
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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