Video shows rubbery substance washed out of semolina. Is this plastic?

Alert: Viral Video shows rubbery substance washed out of semolina. Is it plastic?

Alert from Consumers: We have received multiple alerts from African consumers after a videowent viral, showing a lady washing what appears to be a rubbery, plastic-looking substance out of semolina.

Semolina is a type of coarse wheat flour which is often consumed all over the world. In Germany it is known as Grieß, in France Semoule, in spanish-speaking countries Sémola, in Italy Semola, in Chinese 粗粒小麦粉 ( pronounced cū lì xiǎo màifěned).

In the video above, the lady can be seen using a strainer to rinse the semolina. She then proceeds to take out the rubbery substance from the semolina.

Not knowing what it is, the lady and a male companion who is filming, quickly conclude that this must be the work of dubious manufacturers, possibly from China.

AFCOPA Review: Upon receiving this video alert, we at AFCOPA reviewed the material, and this is what we found:

Wheat flour including semolina contains two proteins called Glutenin and Gliadin. In the presence of water, these two proteins combine together to form a complex elastic protein called Gluten. This complex protein is the reason why dough rises and becomes elastic and rubbery when kneaded. The gluten in the dough is not initially visible because it is surrounded by starch. However, if we wash out the starch, we are left with a very rubbery mass of gluten.

Please check the video below for more information on gluten (please note that while the video below is on wheat flour, it is absolutely applicable to semolina as well, which is also a type of wheat flour.

AFCOPA Conclusion: The rubbery mass which the woman pulled out of the semolina is most likely the protein called gluten, which formed after water was added to semolina, and which she then exposed after washing out the starch. You can try this at home with any wheat-based flour. For better results, knead the flour with a bit of water into a dough first, and then wash the starch out.

AFCOPA Advise: Semolina as a product is safe to consume. This however does not mean that we endorse all semolina products in the world, as there are differences in manufacturing practices between manufacturers.

We want to thank the lady who shared this video. She came across a suspicious product, and acted fast to alert other African consumers of potential danger. We applaud her courage and ask all African consumers to also be courageous when you come across suspicious products.  Act fast and send your alerts to


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