From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
National President, Polymer Institute of Nigeria, Professor Paul Mamza, has given some insights into how plastic rice could be detected.
This is as he observed that some plastic rice has been imported into Nigeria from China, which according to him, is capable of causing cancer.
The rice, Mamza further explained, has a trade name, “Beat Tomatoes Rice”, without expiry date and NAFDAC registration number respectively.
A statement issued by the polymer expert said that the plastic rice was produced from potato powder and blended plastic materials extruded through an extruder and pelletized in sizes of rice grains.
According to him, the harmful rice could be detected by dropping some quantity of the grains into a bowl of water and stirring, pointing out that if it settles down, it is genuine, but if otherwise, it is plastic rice.
His words: “The easiest way to identify this grain is by dropping some quantity of it into a bowl of water and stirring it, if it settles down, it means it is the real rice, but if it floats on top of the water, it means it is plastic. If you, as well heat these grains on a pan, they melt and stick to the pan.”
“If the grains are also grounded, the colour turns light yellow and white if it is normal rice.”
“I hereby use this golden opportunity to intimate the general public that plastic rice is detrimental to human health when consumed because of the chemicals used in the production of public plastic, hence this can cause cancer”. Prof. Mamaza stated.
He also disclosed that the Polymer Institute had presented a bill before the National Assembly seeking to establish it as a chartered institute, adding that the bill had already passed through first reading on the floor of the Senate last December.
“We, therefore, use this medium to urge law makers to hurry up the bill process for Mr. President to urgently sign this bill into law. If this is done, we will join the NAFDAC and other regulatory bodies to help curb the production and importation of such goods into Nigeria”, the renowned professor added.