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FOOD TERROR; Is it rice, or plastic on the menu

FOOD TERROR; Is it rice, or plastic on the menu


Fear has gripped the hearts of people over the past couple of months as a video making rounds on social media showed workers feeding plastic into a machine to produce rice like granules. The factory believed to be in China was said to be producing rice out of plastic. The widely shared controversial video has generated lots of concern from individuals on different social media platforms, as this is not the first report linking China to toxic rice production. In 2011, it was reported that plastic rice was found in Nanjing a city in China. Another plastic rice scare broke out in 2015, as bags of plastic rice was found in Indonesia which was reportedly imported from China.

Some people claimed the factory was merely producing plastic granules for industrial use. But this isn’t another of those cuckoo stories. It is shocking but it is real. It is a Chinese food scam. Plastic rice is reportedly being made from sweet potatoes, potatoes and artificial industrial resin made into the shape of rice grains. In each bag of rice, a small amount of authentic rice is mixed with the plastic rice and then packaged for commercial consumption. While this fake rice is edible, it is dangerous and can be likened to eating vinyl. It is feared to be a major causative factor in gastritis and other stomach related diseases.


The rumor mill has it that this rice has made its way into the Nigerian market. It was reported by Punch Newspapers that customs intercepted about 102 bags of plastic rice only this week.

With the festivities closing in on us, the consumption of rice is expected to be at an all time high. This expose will help you identify how to identify which rice is real and which isn’t so as not to fall a victim.

Experts say there is no proven scientific method to detect the fake from the original. 


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Here are SIX home tests that can help you distinguish between the fake rice and original rice. 

THE FIRST RULE of thumb is to insist on inspecting your rice before you buy.

• THE WATER TEST: Plastic is known to float. To determine if your rice is plastic or real, drop a considerable amount of rice into a bowl of water. If your rice settles at the bottom you have the real deal if it doesn’t it could be plastic and not safe for consumption. 
• THE FIRE TEST: Take a handful of rice, burn it using a match or lighter. If the rice is plastic it will give off the burning plastic smell.
• HOT OIL TEST: This test can be done by dropping a handful into very hot oil. If you have plastic rice, it will melt and stick together to the bottom of the pot.
• BOILING TEST: While boiling your rice, carefully observe the boiling rice, if it contains plastic rice it will form a thick layer at the top of the pot.
• FUNGUS TEST: after boiling the rice, put some in a tight capped bottle, leave for a period of two to three days. If the rice doesn’t have fungus mold after a couple of days, it means you have plastic rice. Plastic remains the same and is not affected by weather or season.

Above all, be extremely cautious and be sure to purchase your rice from authorized shops or local farmers.

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