Targeting GI tag, Mayurbhanj’s superfood ‘ant chutney’ set to find more tables

What is the News?

Tribals of the Mayurbhanj district in Odisha are seeking a Geographical Indications(GI) tag for Kai Chutney.

What is Kai Chutney?

Kai Chutney is a food item made from Kai (Red Weaver Ant) in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district.

This chutney is rich in valuable proteins, calcium, zinc, vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, fiber and 18 amino acids and is known to boost the immune system and keep diseases at bay.

How is Kai Chutney made?

Weaver ants scientifically called Oecophylla smaragdina are abundantly found in Mayurbhanj throughout the year. They construct nests with the leaves of host trees. 

The chutney is made by maxing ants with ingredients such as grinding salt, ginger, garlic and chilly.

Why do people consume Kai Chutney?

The tribes of Mayurbhanj consume Kai chutney or soup to get rid of flu, common cold, whooping cough, to increase appetite, and enhance vision and eyesight naturally without corrective eyewear among others.

What are the other uses of Kai (Red Weaver Ant)?

The tribal healers prepare medicinal oil by dipping the collected Kais in pure mustard oil. 

Moreover, Kais are also bio-control agents. They are aggressive and prey on most arthropods entering their territory. Due to their predatory habit, Kais are recognised as biological control agents in tropical crops as they are able to protect a variety of crops against many different insect pests. 

Source: The post is based on the article Targeting GI tag, Mayurbhanj’s superfood ‘ant chutney’ set to find more tables” published in The Hindu on 4th July 2022.

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