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Food Standards Agency

Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Food Standards Agency has spent in the last two years on research into (a) Basmati rice, (b) balsamic vinegar and (c) sodium alternatives. [111206]

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has funded five projects over the past two years on Basmati rice. Three projects dealt with improving and evaluating an innovative DNA method used to check adulteration of Basmati rice. One has applied electronic nose technology to determine sensory properties more accurately and a fifth has applied a new DNA approach to authenticating Basmati rice. The total spend over the two years has been £148,217.The FSA is funding a project on a method to check speciality vinegars, a part of which includes balsamic vinegar. The spend so far has been £15,661, but it is not possible to apportion specifically the spend on balsamic vinegar. There have been no projects funded which deal with sodium alternatives during this period.