There is no “plastic rice” in Costa Rica, the Ministry of Health clarified in a statement responding to rumors in social networks assuring that the so-called plastic rice is rice that is fortified with vitamins which uses a special coating.
Luis Tacsan, director of Scientific and Technological Development in Health, said that “the alleged appearance of a fake rice was confused with the existence of a different rice that was added to supplement the deficiency of some vitamins and minerals in the Costa Rican population”.
According to the Ministry of Health, Costa Rica has been fortifying rice since 2002 to combat congenital neural tube defects (spinal cord damage that occurs during gestation of the baby due to folic acid deficiency) and nutritional anemias.
One of the techniques used by the rice industry is to introduce a portion of fortified grains into the bag, according to the statement.
The other technique is the manufacture of a grain composed of rice flour and vitamins and minerals, known as extruded comogran. “Thanks to this fortified rice, Costa Rica is considered as the first country in the world where fortification has been carried out in a universal way, and whose impact has been extremely positive from the point of view of public health,” Tacsan said in the press bulliten.
“The Plastic Rice Lie”
Anonymously, this week a video went viral on the social networks where a lady appears opening a bag of Tio Pelón rice showing what in her opinion is plastic rice.
In response, the company, one of the major suppliers of rice in retail stores, published a statement entitled “The Plastic Rice Lie”, which states that “these granites that look thicker than others are not plastic, they are micronutrients compressed with folic acid, selenium and other vitamins that are added to rice. ”