China has a history of making fake food items and the fake rice phenomenon has been there for a while. Reports indicate that China produces fake rice which is mixed with plastic for exportation to African countries including Nigeria. A reputable English-language newspaper in Korea, The Korea Times, reported that “China famous for having all, making all, has now been reported to have made rice out of plastic and has distributed it.”
The ‘plastic rice’ is reportedly made by forming potatoes and sweet potatoes into regular rice grains shape, then adding industrial synthetic resins. It remains hard after cooking and can cause serious health issues. Experts have raised the alarm of possible flooding of the Nigerian market with the ‘plastic rice’. As the festive draws closer, a lot of people will be getting bags of rice from their employers, friends and well-wishers.
You can determine if your rice is fake by carrying out any of the simple tests below:-
1. The mortar and pestle test
When molding a few grains of rice with a mortar and pestle, if the powder gives a quite white colour, you are good to go but it has a yellow discoloration, your rice must be fake.
2. The fire test
You know what plastic smells like right. So, get a lighter and burn a handful of rice. If it catches fire and smells like burnt plastic, you have fake rice.
3. The water test
Get a glass of cold water. Pour a tablespoon of raw rice in the glass and stir. If the rice goes to the bottom, it is all good. If it floats at the top, be careful because it means it contains ‘plastic rice’. Do not eat.
4. The mold test
Boil the rice. Leave it in a warm place for like 2-3 days. If mold does not appear in a few days, your rice is fake and should not be consumed. It will not get mold because plastic is not affected by the weather or temperature.
5. The boiling test
Observe the rice while boiling. If it starts forming a thick layer at the top of the pot, it is ‘plastic rice’.
6. The hot oil test
Just take some of the rice drop into some real hot oil. If it is plastic, it will melt or stick together or stick at the bottom of the pan.
Share these tips with your friends and family so they do not end up eating ‘plastic rice’. These tests are very simple. Do not eat plastic rice, be careful.