The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has categorically denied rumours that there is plastic rice on the Ghanaian market.
Addressing the media at a press conference in Accra on Friday, June 23, 2017, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Delis Darko said the sample of rice collected on the Ghanaian market alleged to be plastic rice proved to be authentic.
“Using our nationwide market surveillance programme we obtained random samples. The FDA then went ahead to issue a press statement requesting members of the public to assist either by submitting samples of the rumoured plastic rice or by giving information as to where it could be found. We subjected all these samples received to the laboratory for laboratory investigation. Results from the laboratory analysis indicate that all the samples were in fact authentic real rice and not plastic.”
Explaining why the rice on the market could not possibly be plastic, she talked about the properties of plastics.
“The physical and chemical properties of plastics are such that ordinarily cannot be reconstituted into edible food. This is because they cannot absorb water and do not mix with water,” she said.
As to why rice could be sticky and bouncy, she explained: “The textural properties of rice varieties are due to the nature of their starch content.”
She added, “this character of starch in rice enables cooked rice grains to come together, stick or agglomerate and allows it to be kneaded into a malleable sphere that can bounce off hard surfaces as depicted in the videos you see on social media.”
She assured the public the FDA is working with its international partners to monitor the importation of rice from countries purported to be producing plastic rice. She indicated the rumours about plastic rice are across the globe but there is no confirmation yet.
She commended the general public and the media for raising the alarm and helping the FDA in its investigations, especially those that conferred with the FDA before going public with their videos. She urged all media houses to confer with the FDA on all issues bothering on food safety before going public.