Could you be eating ‘Plastic rice’ , seriously? How to Identify?

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World of Rice Eaters are been shocked by the the news of ‘Platic Rice ‘ for the past few months on Social media. The  news that rice made of plastic has been in circulation, and that it looks similar to naturally grown rice is been published by many media in the past.

The term ‘plastic rice’ first surfaced in China in 2010. Dubbed the Wuchang rice scandal, Chinese officials unearthed a scam by companies who passed off ordinary rice as premium Wuchang rice by adding flavours to it. The Wuchang rice, known for its unique aroma, is exported to various nations. Chinese traders are believed to have made a huge profit through this scam.

In 2011, a report by The Korea Times said: “Some distributors are selling fake rice in Taiyuan, Shaanxi Province, and this rice is a mixture of potatoes, sweet potatoes and plastic.” Needless to say, the report mentioned in detail the hazards of eating synthetic resin. Thus the term ‘plastic rice’ came into existence.

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The BBC, in 2016 December, reported that a huge shipment of ‘plastic rice’ was seized in Nigeria, making it the first major confiscation. Later Daily Mail reported a Shocking footage of ‘an underground food factory’.

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If you are one of those plastic-phobic people who insist on BPA-free products, you should read this. If rumours are to be believed, some grocery stores in Indian  States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been selling rice supposedly made of plastic.

The two-minute-long footage was widely shared on WeChat, a Chinese social media messaging app, in early November.

In a version of the video, shared by QQ.com, a topless worker can be seen putting dozens of plastic bags into a machine at a dim-lit workshop. The bags were soon shredded by the spinning saws of the machine before being turned into a long plastic tube.The worker used a pair of scissors to cut the long strip before putting it into another machine placed next to the first machine.The plastic strip was processed by the second machine, which turned it into long, thin strings.The strings were delivered into cold water in a large sink for for cooling down before being passed onto a third machine.A second worker, also topless, can be see standing by the strings. The third machine ground the strings into fine granules and they were scooped into a large fabric bag, often used to carry rice in China, by a worker.

Editor’s Note : It remains unclear where the video was shot or whether or not it was real. 

Understandably, this has caused a lot of panic among people who are taking a good second look at the rice they bought from trusted provision store.

Truth of this news

So is ‘plastic rice’ real or fake news spread? Unfortunately, there is no credible answer to this question. As far as India is concerned, ‘plastic rice’ has never been seized so far, though time and again there have been reports of demonstrations against such rice. Fact verification website snopes.com said the claim stands “unproven”.

Health risks of eating plastic rice

The news about children crafting a cricket ball out of the semi-boiled plastic rice is sure to invite a few chuckles, but mind you, eating plastic is no laughing matter. Plastic consumption is also linked to the incidences of various problems such as cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity and reproductive effects etc.

How to identify plastic rice:

The key thing to look out for is that plastic rice remains stone hard even after cooking.

Cook it:  ” You cannot identify plastic rice when it’s raw. When you cook it, a thick layer will form on the top and sides of the vessel. Also, the rice might remain hard in some places.”

Look for unpleasant smell: You could also keep some amount of the damp rice in a vessel outside for a few days. If it is organic, mould could grow on it, or the mixture may turn rancid. If it stays fresh, the rice is fake!

Check whether the grains float: Try putting a handful of grains into water. If it floats to the top, the rice is made of plastic.

Heat it: You can also try heating the grains. If it is fake it may give out  the indistinguishable smell of burning plastic.

If you find Plastic Rice please take a social responsbility to report to athourities. In  United Kingdon you can report to Food Agency at  www.food.gov.uk.

RELATED NEWS:

How to distinguish fake, plastic rice imported from China from the real rice that doesn’t have plastic in it – Quora

‘Plastic rice’ seized in Nigeria – BBC News

Nigeria confiscates 2.5 tonnes of “plastic rice” smuggled into the country from China, officials say.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-38391998


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