Is Plastic Rice being sold in Hyderabad? There was a wide struck panic causing jitters among the people of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday with rumours of plastic rice being sold in some grocery stores. Multiple videos showcasing plastic rice which “bounce like a ball when rolled” have been going viral on social media in the last few days, thus triggering panic.
There have been complaints from the Charminar area, Yousufguda, Saroornagar and Meerpet, in the past week, where people are claiming that multiple outlets are selling rice made of plastic which is causing health problems.
One of the complainants, Ashok of Meerpet, claims that while eating when rolled into balls the rice bounced like rubber. He further added that his family has been having health issues in the recent past which the doctors could not cure. In his statement Ashok said, “The children suffered loose motions, all had gastric problems. Medicines and doctor were not able to cure as we continued to eat this. Now we have realised what is wrong.”
Another complainant, Telugu TV journalist Indrasen found the same problem of the rice feeling like rubber in the biryani that he had bought in Saroornagar. He says when he complained, he was beaten up.
Based on the complaints, the civil supplies department raided the shop in Meerpet and seized samples which are now being examined. The food and civil supplies department has also seized stocks from the various grocery stores in the areas from where the complaints have come and sent them for qualitative analysis to a laboratory.
The Video of Plastic Rice That Has Gone Viral
The videos that have gone viral creating panic, especially among the citizens of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, show polythene being inserted into machines from where noodle-like plastic sticks emerge. These are then cut into fine rice. In fact there are also claims that the plastic rice has infiltrated the market from China.
However, none of the details shown in the videos have been authoritatively established. In fact, some experts have pointed out that the price of rice is less than Rs 60 per Kg, whereas the price of plastic is Rs 70 per Kg. They say there is no logic for anyone to replace rice with plastic which is more expensive.
Moreover, it makes no sense especially in India which is the largest producer of rice in the world. Also, manufacturing plastic rice would entail setting up large manufacturing units at very high costs but absolutely illegal. This would just mean plastic rice would be more expensive than actual rice and fraught with risks. However, in the past there have also been reports of milk made of detergent powder and eggs made of plastic, and also of the Chinese cabbage variety as being made of plastic. So, it is time to await the test reports of the laboratory to confirm that there is no plastic rice in India.
While the test results of the alleged “plastic rice” are awaited, the Commissioner of Civil Supplies C.V. Anand on Wednesday advised citizens not to believe in rumours. He said that that the initial test results on samples collected from the complainant in the Civil Supplies laboratory in the presence of quality control analyzer Osman Mohiuddin, general manager Jayadev Singh and assistant manager (technical) G. Saidulu, have shown that it is not “plastic rice”. In the meanwhile, rice samples have been sent to State Food Laboratory for further chemical tests to totally rule it out.
The enforcement and vigilance officials have been put on high alert till the final results come out. The officials have been given guidelines through a video to be able to detect plastic rice, to be able to detect if it has been mixed with normal rice, and advised to carry out checks when in doubt.
Just in Case- How to Detect Plastic in Rice
- Oil Test- Heat raw rice in a Teaspoon of oil. If the rice grains melt and stick together at the bottom of the vessel, then it is a cause for concern for this happens only when the rice is plastic.
- Boiling Test: In case the rice is made of plastic, a thick layer will start forming at the top of the vessel while boiling it in water.
- Water Test: Rice is heavier than water while plastic is not. Thus, when you soak rice in water, if plastic, they will start floating and thus not conducive for consumption.