Arecanut gets its first GI tag for ‘Sirsi Supari’

The arecanut has unique features like a round and flattened coin shape, particular texture, taste

Updated - March 12, 2019 08:41 am IST

Published - March 12, 2019 01:32 am IST - Mangaluru

The Sirsi Supari variety of arecanut.

The Sirsi Supari variety of arecanut.

For the first time in the arecanut sector, ‘Sirsi Supari’ grown in Uttara Kannada has received the Geographic Indication (GI) tag. It is cultivated in Yellapura, Siddapura and Sirsi taluks.

Totgars’ Cooperative Sale Society Ltd., Sirsi, is the registered proprietor of the GI.

The Registrar of Geographical Indications, under the Union government, Chennai issued the certificate to the society on March 4, 2019. Its GI number is 464.

According to it, the particular arecanut “is medium in size, somewhat flat and rounded in shape, somewhat ash coloured, and has a hard seed.”

The arecanut grown in these taluks have unique features like a round and flattened coin shape, particular texture, size, cross-sectional views, taste, etc. These features are not seen in arecanut grown in any other regions. Its average dry weight is 7.5 g and average thickness is 16 mm.

This particular variety has a unique taste due to differences in chemical composition. The total average flavonoids content in it is around 90 whereas in others it is around 80.

The total carbohydrates in ‘Sirsi Supari’ are 23% to 26%, total arecoline is 0.11% to 0.13%, total tannin content is 14.5% to 17.5%.

Ravish Hegde, General Manager of the cooperative, told The Hindu that the process of obtaining the tag had begun in 2013. It took about six years to get it owing to scientific research proof to be submitted to prove its uniqueness.

He said that ‘Sirsi Supari’ is used both as ‘chali’ (white arecanut) and red arecanut. The ‘chali’ variety is made by peeling the ripened nuts and sun drying them later. The red arecanut is produced by harvesting the tender nuts, then boiling and colouring them, then making them into different grades and finally sun drying them.

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