On October 4, 2016, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), through its spokesman, Wale Adeniyi, warned the citizenry to be on red alert, as intelligence report indicated that some die-hard rice smugglers have begun shipment of plastic rice to Africa from China in what was clearly a selfish move aimed at swelling their profits, regardless of the consequences of their poisonous imports.
Although it seemed like a wild joke at the time, we are now having confirmation as a Nigerian woman who fell victim to this poisonous rice has raised alarm.
She said the rice was cooked and left for few days but failed to decompose even after squeezing it with her hands. She said the rice, which has no aroma, rather expanded and remained dry.
The scary thing is the rice has reportedly been in production in China for up to four years.
Tips On How To Identify Plastic Rice
Reports indicate that China produces fake rice which is mixed with plastic for exportation to African countries including Nigeria. This are the tips to identify plastic rice
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.