“I can assure you that the rice we have in our markets is safe to eat”, words from Dr. Zainab Jallow, managing director of the Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA). She was responding to concerns and swirling allegations about so-called plastic rice being sold in Gambian markets, which has been a trending topic on the internet these days.
One does not deny the manufacturing of plastic pellets, but they are used for industries that make items with. Asia is the largest exporter of rice in the world, but this does not ensure its food security. So they export the old rice by renewing their stock with new. This rice exported in countries producing or who have not achieved self-reliance lasts a while in the boats and warehouses before reaching the plate of the consumer. During this time, he loses all its nutritional qualities giving way to starch (sugar). This is the reason why after cooking when we apply strong pressure, the particles adhere and form a motte.
The plastic is unable to absorb the water. Even if we increase the temperature, it may melt or become soft but we’ll never get the texture of the rice.
What we can blame this imported rice is its high sugar content contrary to our national rice.
“We went around different markets to take samples. There is no evidence of any contamination of plastic.” Dr. Jallow revealed that her office has inspectors that regularly examine the food products entering the country.
“We do our best, but some people can be scrupulous. This is where we need the public to support us. As a consumer, you have the right to ask questions about what you buy in the market.”