Fake plastic rice sold in Asia?
If this Indonesian woman's claims are true, it is tough to tell between real and fake rice just by sight.
News that fake plastic rice is being sold in Asia had taken social media by storm this week.
But there's a grim side to the speculation, which has affected some people's rice bowls: A rice distributor in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, made a police report after netizens accused his brand of being one of those hawking fake grains from China.
Owner of TKC company Tan Chien Hung told The Star newspaper the cyberspace attacks, including pictures, started circulating on WhatsApp and Facebook last Friday (May 15).
Yesterday (May 19), the Straits Times quoted an Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) spokesman saying they have not received feedback about fake rice making its way to Singapore.
"As part of AVA’s routine surveillance, imported rice is regularly inspected and sampled to ensure compliance with our food safety standards and requirements.
"Our sampling tests cover a wide range of food-borne hazards. Thus far, the testing results have been satisfactory."
However, pictures supposedly showing the fake rice have shown up on Instagram.
User dewinurizza posted two days ago that she had been sold such grains in Indonesia.
She had captioned the picture purportedly of “beras asli” (real rice) on the left and “beras palsu” (fake rice) on the right.
Indonesian website Coconuts Jakarta identified the woman as the owner of a nasi uduk store (Nasi uduk is an Indonesian-style steamed rice cooked in coconut milk).
The woman claimed that the rice she bought appeared edible when cooked, but the grains felt tough.
According to The Star and Asia News Network, the plastic rice is actually poisonous and can cause serious damage to the digestive system.
It is made from potatoes or sweet potatoes and moulded into the shape of real rice via synthetic resin.
Sources: Coconuts Jakarta, The Straits Times, The Star, Asia News Network