ICAR moves to patent Goa’s Feni manufacturing process

PTI Panaji | Updated on November 21, 2017

After obtaining Geographical Indication (GI) status for the famous Goa Feni, researchers and producers in the coastal State are now trying to patent the process to manufacture this local brew, which is also known for its medicinal benefits.

The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has begun the process to patent the process of manufacturing Feni (spirit made from either coconut or the juice of cashew apple) in consultation with legal experts, who have prepared a water tight case to be presented before the authorities concerned.

“The process to be patented involves the system followed to manufacture Feni, right from plucking of cashew apple to bottling of the brewed final product,” ICAR Goa Director, Dr N.P. Singh, told PTI.

On behalf of ICAR, the application is moved to Patenting Authority of India (PAI), which will certify the process after inviting objections from across the world.

“To get it patented, the process should be unique to the Feni manufactured in Goa,” Singh said.

The researchers are closely working with a local businessman, Gurudatta Bhakta, who owns a brewery producing internationally marketed Feni. The ICAR would also rope in more entrepreneurs, mostly from South Goa this month for the process.

Singh said that the process of brewing Feni was earlier unhygienic as cashew apples were traditionally crushed with legs. Now researchers have devised a new strategy which is an improvised version of the traditional method, involving introduction of micro-organisms during fermentation of the juice.

“ICAR has developed a micro—organism which is a local entity and can be introduced in the juice during fermentation,” he said.

At the end of the process, the final product (Feni) would be available in different flavours.

“If you want to sell Feni outside the country, they insist on quality,” Singh said, adding that researchers are not opposed to traditional ways but hygiene is the most important.

There are 35 leading Feni processors besides several hundred people brewing this spirit alongside their cashew plantations in Goa.

Published on May 21, 2013

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