The National Food Authority of the Philippine government (NFA) has enumerated tips to avoid the infamous ‘plastic rice’ from China:

1 – Buy only from accredited and licensed store, or any designated public markets, supermarkets, or NFA accredited retailers.

2 – Be familiar with the characteristics of real rice. Regular-milled and well-milled rice are long-grained and not too white. Grains may vary in sizes since it is nature-made and not machine-made. Also, grains must be brittle.

3 – Be familiar with the characteristics of fake rice. Fake rice is too white, too round, too shiny. The grains are almost equally shaped which most probably are machine-made. Also, grains of fake rice are harder to break. When cooked, they usually produce a thin plastic layer on top of the grains which can be easily set on fire. The grains at the bottom crust are squeezed together to form a rubber.

4 – Smell the grains and be sure that its odor is not plastic.

5 – Avoid buying rice that is lighter than normal.

Further, the food authority added that if there is a suspicion of the fake rice, obtain at least a kilo and send it to the nearest food authority uncooked for scientific laboratory analysis. The public is also encouraged to write when, where and from whom the suspected rice was bought.