Mangaluru, July 17, 2018: Some videos have been going viral on whatsapp about a particular brand of wheat flour containing added plastic! ’Evidence’ to this effect is shown by washing some dough prepared with it with water repeatedly until a glutinous, water insoluble mass is left which is claimed to be added plastic ’harmful’ to health. While none of these things have any scientifc basis, the visuals seem to be convincing particularly to the gullible masses who have their education only in the whatsapp university!
The fact is that wheat along with other constituents is made up of proteins glutenin and gliadin. These combine when mixed with water to form a mass which is insoluble in water but soluble in dilute acids, alkalis and alcohol. This mass looks like a rubbery mass which is claimed to be indigestible which it is not! The proteolytic enzymes of the human digestive tract are quite capable of digesting a good number of proteins with a few exceptions like keratins of hair, nails, horns, hooves etc.
While wheat and rice are cereals of mass consumption which are the only ones widely used and can save the world of starvation, there are lobbies trying to market their expensive grains by creating scares among people about these staple cereals. While they my have their demerits, they are certainly not poisons. last year there had been som such rumours about plastic rice and synthetic eggs too.