Agartala, June 19, 2017: After artificial eggs, the Tripura administration has launched investigation into the sale of ‘plastic rice’ – a synthetic invention allegedly by China, and introduced in markets at a low cost.
Longtarai valley sub-divisional administration of Dhalai district has seized at least six packets of such rice suspecting them plastic made from a market of Manughat last night while cooked rice of a bigger quantity was also detained from a hotel for testing. The rice is mainly used by hotels.
Sub Divisional Magistrate of Longtarai valley S C Saha said that the administration was informed by the audit team which went for lunch to a hotel near the office of the Block Development Officer (BDO), Manu, and found the rice very crunchy in each bite, thus creating problem in swallowing.The hotel owners did not convince them and similar complaints came from other customers.The officials of food and civil supplies department, BDOs office and others raided the hotel and seized a large quantity of cooked rice.
Later, based on the information regarding rice procurement from local market the officials raided a shop and confiscated six bags of such rice around 600 kg. Both the cooked and uncooked rice were sent to food testing laboratory, Saha stated.”The initial report indicated that the rice was not like those available and there are reasons to believe them to be artificial.
However, there is no cause of panic until the laboratory reports come. “Meanwhile, investigation has begun to locate the source of supply chain,” Saha stated. He, however, stated that in India there was no instance of plastic rice or plastic egg established so far though it was a hot topic across the country. There is sufficient check to prevent such fraudulent activities.”I have brought some cooked rice at home from a hotel when the controversy surfaced yesterday but when I tried to eat, I found the rice was acting funny almost like a chewing gum. I made a rice ball, throw it and found that it bounced back,” said a habitant of Manughat Sukumar Sarkar.
Next day he found the rice had neither fermented nor gave any stale smell. In fact it smelled like plastic only, Sarkar told SDM Sarkar today.According to chemical experts, the polymer rice is actually polymer resin and added, “To make you understand in simple language what we can say is that these small polymer substances have intermolecular space. These spaces get filled up with water when soaked. Then the substance gets swollen to take the shape of rice.