What doesn’t fit in a small grain of rice: arsenic, mineral oil, chemical spray. The consumer magazine “Eco test” tested 21 brands of rice – and the result is shocking: A limit value has been exceeded twicedouble Sales stopped. About half of the products examined carry the organic label.
“Two exceedances of limit values and two sales stops – this rarely happens in one and the same test,” explains food chemist Vanessa Christa in the October issue of the magazine. But it can also be done without pollutants.
All test results can Consulted online on the Öko-Test website become. Access costs 2.50 euros.
What rice should you avoid?
One product turned out to be particularly negative during the test: the “Natural Organic Sun Rice” from Norma. Inside is the laboratory 1,2-dichloroethanea colorless liquid used to control pests.
This toxic substance has been banned in the EU for years. But experts were able to clearly detect it in organic rice. His focus was on well above the limit.
Norma removes her brown rice from the range
“Öko-Test” asked the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment to assess to what extent contaminated rice actually is harmful to consumers. According to the authority, the threshold above which there is “no significant risk to human health” is: already exceeded eleven times by an adult human weighing 60 kilograms eat a side serving (62 grams) of Norma brown ricereports “Öko-Test”.
The larger the portion and the lighter a person is, the more harmful it becomes for the body. According to “Öko-Test”, Norma has the product now out of reach.
How does a biocide get into organic rice?
“Öko-Test” specifies that the rice tested by Norma comes from Pakistan. He became shipped to Europe in containers and 1,2-dichloroethane is probably used again and again to protect the interior of containers against pests and mold.
However, Norma was able to “credibly prove” to “Öko-Test” that the tested The rice was transported in a container previously disinfected with CO₂.
So there are only two explanations left:
- The rice was sprayed with toxic biocide after harvestto make it more durable.
- The rice was contaminated by “carryover”. – for example because the transport container was previously cleaned with the chemical.
The first option, direct spraying of 1,2-dichloroethane on crops, is prohibited in most countries. This is why Öko-Test considers the second option more likely. and is based on an assessment by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment.
“Öko-Test” detects even more pollutants
The biocide is not the only pollutant identified by experts in Norma rice. The laboratory commissioned by “Öko-Test” also noted Traces of hydrocarbons from aromatic mineral oilsMOAH for short.
MOAHs are various chemical compounds found in mineral oil. Some of them are considered carcinogenic.
In addition to Norma’s “Bio Sonne Organic Rice Natural”, the laboratory offered five other organic trips saturated mineral oil hydrocarbons After. Conventionally grown rice performed better in the test when it came to mineral oil. Here, experts only found questionable residues in three samples.
“Öko-Test” suspects two possible sources of mineral oil:
- Printer inks from packaging or jute bags in which the rice is transported.
- Lubricating oils used in mechanical production.
Rapunzel stops selling “premium long-grain rice”
Another organic product turned out to be particularly negative in the test: “Natural Rapunzel long grain rice”. The lab found in premium rice grains a cadmium content which exceeds the European limit by more than twice. Rapunzel has now stopped selling the rice and is taking back the affected packages.
Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that accumulates in the body and damages the kidneys and bones when consumed in high doses over a long period of time.
The grains probably have this Toxic substance absorbed by groundwater. Rice is often grown in what is called wet cultivation. This causes farmers to flood their fields and The plant stands with its roots in the water. If the water is contaminated, pollutants are deposited in the rice, particularly in its outer layers. As a result, brown rice is often more contaminated than white rice, which has had its outer layers sanded away.
Toxic arsenic enters rice via groundwater
According to “Öko-Test”, five of the trips tested also included one increased arsenic content on. Arsenic is toxic and carcinogenic. It is present in the soil and enters the rice grains via groundwater. The EU has it The limit for arsenic was only lowered in the spring.
But you don’t have to completely lose your appetite for rice. Four products achieved the highest test scores “very good”, including an organic basmati from Lidl and three risotto trips.
Finally, another tip: if you want to avoid harmful substances in your rice, “Öko-Test” recommends it. wash before cooking. You then need to cook the portion of rice in five times more water and drain the liquid that remains after cooking. The toxins contained in rice can thus be reduced.
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