Is Food Being Fried With Plastic To Last Longer?!

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Are food vendors selling fried food coated with plastic to make them crispy for a longer time?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Fried Food Are Being Coated With Plastic!

People are sharing messages on WhatsApp and social media platforms, claiming or suggesting that some food vendors are coating their fried food in plastic, so they will stay crispy for a longer time!

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The Plastic In Frying Oil Hoax Debunked
Fried food vendor | Photo credit : Time Out

 

Truth : Fried Food Are Not Being Coated In Plastic!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS being shared on WhatsApp and social media platforms, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : No Evidence Of Fried Food Coated In Plastic

Camera phones and smartphones have been around for some 20 years now, allowing people to snap photos and take video clips of everything that catches our eyes.

Social media is full of people posting photos and videos of everything from purchases and holidays, to acts of crime or tragedies. Yet no one has ever taken a photo or video of a food vendor adding plastic to their cooking oil, or selling fried food coated in plastic.

Fact #2 : No Food Vendor Was Ever Reported For Such Crimes

It is ludicrous to believe that any food vendor would publicly add inedible plastic to their frying oil in full view of their customers. If that actually happened, their customers would have reported them to the authorities.

Yet, no one appears to have ever made such a report. There has been no verified news report on such a crime either. That’s because it never happened.

Fact #3 : Plastic Smells When Melting / Burning

If you have ever accidentally burned or melted any plastic item, you will recall how melting or burning plastic stinks.

If any vendor melts plastic in frying oil, it is very likely their customers would be able to smell the melting plastic. It would be quite impossible for food vendors to get away with melting plastic in their frying oil.

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The Plastic In Frying Oil Hoax Debunked
Cheese chocolate fried bananas | Photo credit : Denai.my

Fact #4 : Many Plastics Are Heat Resistant

The fake news creator claimed to have personally witnessed a plastic bottle melting in the frying oil. But is that even possible?

Cooking oil and bottled water are stored in plastic bottles made from PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)., which melts at 260°C (500°F).

Palm oil – the most common oil used for deep frying, has a smoking point of just 232°C / 450°F. In other words, the cooking oil will break down and start smoking before the plastic bottle even begins to melt!

The only cooking oils that are stable enough above 260°C are refined safflower oil and avocado oil. They are the only cooking oils that are remotely capable of melting PET plastic bottles. Needless to say, they are both much harder to find and A LOT more expensive than palm oil.

Fact #5 : Plastic Coated Food Is Impossible To Eat

Even if you successfully coat your food with plastic, it won’t be crispy as you might expect. In fact, plastic coated food will be quite impossible to eat.

The plastic coating would be hard to chew through. Try placing a food item inside a plastic bag, and chewing the whole thing. Not much fun, is it?

Fact #6 : Melted Straws Won’t Dissolve In Oil

Most drinking straws are made of polypropylene, which has a melting point of 130 to 171 °C (266 to 340 °F). So it is possible to melt them in frying oil.

However, the melted plastic won’t actually dissolve in the oil, which is what most people expect. Instead, it just becomes a misshapen clump of soft plastic, as this video shows.

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Fact #7 : Plastic-Coated Food Will Be Waterproof + Last Forever

Plastic-coated fried foods, if they do actually exist, will be quite easy to spot. They will be waterproof and won’t spoil even if you leave them in open air for many days.

Fact #8 : Plastic Cannot Be Digested

Plastic cannot be absorbed or digested by our body. So any fried food coated with plastic, if they do exist, will pass through our gastrointestinal system intact. For example, if you fry anchovies and coat them with plastic, they will pass out in your stool in pristine condition!

The only danger of swallowing these plastic-coated food items is that they may cause intestinal obstruction. That’s why turtles die when they chew on plastic bags.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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