The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has dismissed claims about the presence of plastic rice in Nigeria.
In two tweets, yesterday, through his twitter handle; @IsaacFAdewole, the Health minister said preliminary tests and results proved no rice in the country was plastic.
He noted that some of the impounded rice, when cooked, had “normal odour,” “normal colour” and was “off white.”
According to him, the Director General of the National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Oluremi Oni had also informed him that there is no such rice in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Customs Service had announced on Wednesday December 21 that it had confiscated 2.5 tonnes of “plastic rice” at a warehouse in Ikeja, Lagos. According to the Customs Area Comptroller (CAC), Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, Ikeja; Comptroller Haruna Mamudu, the seized 102 bags of plastic rice at had been packaged for sale during the yuletide and were to be evacuated before his men swooped on the managers of the warehouse.
Mamudu said the imported rice, which was branded as ‘best tomato’, had no manufacture, expiry date and NAFDAC registration number.
“Only God knows what would have happened if people ate it,” he said.
How to identify plastic rice
- 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, it means it contains ‘plastic rice’.
- When molding a few grains of rice with a mortar and pestle, if the powder gives a quite white colour, it’s fit for consumption but if it has a yellow discoloration, it is fake.
- Boiling test: Observe the rice while boiling. If it starts forming a thick layer at the top of the pot, it is plastic rice.
- Hot oil test: Take some of the rice drop into some real hot oil, it will melt or stick together or stick at the bottom of the pan if it is fake.
- Fire test: Get a lighter and burn a handful of rice – If it catches fire and smells like burnt plastic, it is fake.
- Mold test: Boil the rice and leave it in a warm place for like two to three days. If mold does not appear in a few days, the rice is fake. It will not get mold because plastic is not affected by the weather or temperature.