Debunking an old myth about plastic rice: no, the rice in this video is not made of plastic


A video that is purportedly showing the production of plastic rice.


The rice shown in the video is not made from plastic but from a variety of nutrients and crops. Artificial rice is considered to have a better nutritional value than conventional rice, but its production is more expensive.


A video has been posted on the Facebook group „Food containing crickets/bugs/ maggots“, allegedly showing the production of rice from plastic. The video also shows English captions reading „One of the many reasons why big pharma will always stay in business“ and „Rice made from plastic“.

„Lie Detector“ has attempted to find more copies of the same video and learn more about the context in which it appeared. It turns out that the same myth about plastic rice has been popular on the Internet for several years. The BBC claims (here) that such rumours originated in China, while similar messages have been circulating on the Internet since 2010.

This video shared on social media does not show rice being made from plastic. The material belongs to a Chinese company that manufactures, designs, and installs food production equipment such as food extruders, mixers, flavouring machines, and many others – „SunPring’s Extrusion“ (here). The company produces artificial rice machines (here). By clicking the link, a window explaining what artificial rice is pops out:

Artificial rice, also known as nutrition rice, is a type of rice substitute made by extruder machine. Despite not being actual rice, it resembles rice in appearance and has the following primary business benefits:

1. Nutrient-rich. During the manufacturing process, the food supplier may add corn, millet, wheat, oats, soybeans, starch, vitamins, nutrients (calcium, zinc, iron, etc.) to artificial rice. Typically, artificial rice nutritional value is 5-10 times higher than regular rice.

2. In addition to the above, broken rice can also be used as raw material. Instead of selling those rice at low price, artificial rice increases broken rice’s value.

3. Great market converge. While the price of artificial rice is higher than that of regular rice, it can either be cooked directly or steamed with regular rice at the ratio of 1:300. It can both satisfy the demand of high-end customers and budget-conscious consumers.

Therefore, the rice in the video is not made from plastic but from a variety of nutrients and other crops, and can be consumed as wholesome food.

This is not the first time that the Internet has stirred panic about plastic rice, especially about rice supplied to third world countries. These rumours were exacerbated by a 2.5-ton shipment of rice intercepted by Nigerian customs in 2016. At the time, customs officials officially claimed to have detained a consignment of rice made of plastic, but these claims were later found to be false. The rice detained was just normal rice, but containing high levels of bacteria.

Chris Elliott, professor of food safety and founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, said he has been investigating rice fraud for a number of years. He confirmed that it would be more expensive to produce such rice than the value of real rice, and that there is no reason to substitute plastic rice for real rice (here).


Why people believe the myth of ’plastic rice’

Who’s SunPring’s Extrusion?

SunPring Extrusion ’Youtube’ account information

Artificial Rice Making Machine

Why people believe the myth of ’plastic rice’

Nigeria rice ’contaminated, not plastic’ – NAFDAC

So-called plastic rice could have been the real deal, but stored for a decade

The truth about ’plastic rice’ being sold in the markets