'No knead to panic on chapatti flour' says Preston Council

Concerns resident have called in about plastic in chapatti flour
Concerns resident have called in about plastic in chapatti flour

It may be one of the most bizarre public health announcements of the year, or even decade.

But Preston City Council has moved to reassure residents about a reported risk of plastic in chapatti flour.

The guidance, titled “plastic in chapati flour allegation”, appeared on the local authority’s website earlier this week.

It comes as a result of a YouTube video showing an unnamed individual rinsing flour under a tap until it forms a plastic-like consistency.

The footage has seemingly captured the imagination of residents as environmental health teams across the county have received phone calls expressing concern.

Preston officers, though, have therefore decided they do need (should that be knead?) to publish some guidance.

The website post states the result of rinsing is simply “what happens to flour when it is mixed with water.”

It adds: “The proteins in the flour lead to the formation of gluten...this is completely normal that dough is both stretchable and has an elasticity that allows it to go back to its original shape.”

A council spokesman added: “We have received a handful of complaints with allegations of plastic within chapatti flour.

“Having seen the video that sparked the complaints, I am not sure why the dough was washed under water in this way.

However, dough consists of two key components – starch and gluten.

Washing the dough removes the starch, leaving the gluten behind – and gluten is the part that makes dough springy and elastic, enabling cakes and bread to rise.

"The video shows a simple way to investigate the gluten content of different types of flour, and is completely normal.”