The present work report the unusual uranium uptake by foodstuff, especially those rich in carbohydrates like rice when they are cooked in water, contaminated with uranium. The major staple diet in South Asia, rice, was chosen to study its interaction with UO22+, the active uranium species in water, using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Highest uptake limit was checked by cooking rice at very high uranium concentration and it was found to be good scavenger of uranium. To gain insight into the mechanism of uptake, direct interaction of UO22+ with monosaccharides was also studied, using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry taking mannose as a model. The studies have been done with dissolved uranium salt, uranyl nitrate hexahydrate (UO2(NO3)2·6H2O), as well as the leachate of a stable oxide of uranium, UO2(s), both of which exist as UO22+ in water. Among the eight different rice varieties investigated, Karnataka Ponni showed the maximum uranium uptake whereas unpolished Basmati rice showed the minimum. Interaction with other foodstuffs (potato, carrot, peas, kidney beans and lentils) with and without NaCl affected the extent of chemical interaction but was not consistent with the carbohydrate content. Uranium interaction with d-mannose monitored through ESI-MS, under optimized instrumental parameters, identified the peaks corresponding to uranyl adduct with mannose monomer, dimer and trimer and the species were confirmed by MS/MS studies. The product ion mass spectra showed peaks illustrating water loss from the parent ion as the collision energy was increased, an evidence for the strong interaction of uranium with mannose. This study would constitute the essential background for understanding interaction of uranium with various foods. Extension of this work would involve identification of foodstuff as green heavy metal scavengers. © 2015.