Here's proof that the semovita we consume is plastic-free
Semovita may not be trash as you initially believed it to be.
In the viral video, a woman can be seen washing the popular flour in a sieve using cold water and claiming that the residue left behind is plastic. This definitely increased the social media debate that “Semo is trash.”
Now the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has debunked the allegations made in the video, labelling it as fake news.
NAFDAC Director-General, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, addressed the issue in a statement released on Monday, July 3, 2023, urging the public to disregard the misleading claims circulating on social media.
Adeyeye enjoined the public to exercise discretion when using social media to address suspicions about regulated products. She clarified that semovita, including Golden Penny Semovita, does not contain any plastic materials as the agency has conducted thorough analytical testing, and the results conclusively showed the absence of plastics or similar harmful contaminants in the popular flour.
NAFDAC further explained that semolina, the main component of semovita, contains gluten, which is composed of two types of proteins: glutenin and gliadin. Glutenin provides the dough with the ability to rise during baking, while gliadin imparts viscous and elastic properties, making the dough extensible and elastic.
In the video, the rubbery, plastic-like appearance observed after washing the semovita multiple times is, in fact, the gluten that forms when the gluten-forming proteins mix with water. This can be mistaken for plastic residue.
In their official statement, NAFDAC reiterated, "Golden Penny Semovita is a brand of semolina, a very popular flour made from wheat and consumed in several parts of the world. Semolina contains mainly water, carbohydrates, and about 13% of gluten-forming proteins. Gluten is made up of two classes of proteins – glutenin and gliadin, which upon addition of water combine to form gluten, a protein that gives nutritive value and imparts other characteristic properties to the product."
She concluded by saying, "Glutenin normally gives a bread dough the ability to rise during baking while gliadin gives it the viscous and elastic (viscoelastic) properties, or it simply makes it extensible and elastic. This latter property is the rubbery/plastic-like appearance that was exhibited in the said video. Semolina has no plastic content in it; it only exhibits viscous and elastic properties. The rubbery-like material that was observed in the video after many washings with water is the gluten that formed after the gluten-forming proteins get mixed with water.”
So, if you were worried that you have been consuming plastic for the longest and the potential risk of cancer, you can rest assured as it has been thoroughly tested and proven that Semovita is in fact plastic-free.
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