Site-Wide Activity Forums Tea News and Information Uh-oh – Bubble tea kills?

11 replies, 9 voices Last updated by  Robert Godden 6 years, 1 month ago
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  • #8223

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    Death by bubble tea?
    According to research by the German University Hospital Aachen your bubble tea has ways to send you to an early demise. If you survive childhood without choking on the “lethal” tapioca pearls, substances detected in the pearls may give you cancer sometime later in life. Those innocent happy balls have been found to be laced with “polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs such as styrene, acetophenone, and brominated substances.” All sounds pretty lethal, right? Anyway, apparently these are chemicals that shouldn’t be in food at all.
    The tea tested was from an undisclosed German chain with the pearls being imported from Taiwan.
    For what it’s worth, I’ve never tried bubble tea. Somehow this study hasn’t furthered my interest in tasting some. Over to you now. Are you going to risk life & limb and sip bubble tea?
    Article source:
    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/272016/scitech/science/bubble-tea-pearls-may-be-carcinogenic-ndash-german-study

  • #8224

    bram
    Participant
    @bram

    Hmmm, I’ve tried it in Hamburg… And why am I not surprised that something is wrong with the stuff?

  • #8225

    Xavier
    Participant
    @xavier

    “Anyway, apparently these are chemicals that shouldn’t be in food at all.”

    Then why are they in bubble tea?

  • #8227

    Anonymous @

    Seems everything has something wrong with it. Some more lethal than others.

  • #8233

    Anonymous @

    There are PCBs in all kinds of things. I was likely exposed to it as a child, our neighborhood was next to big electrical towers and everything “urban” under the sun. I remember drinking water straight from our garden hose. Yet I’m closer to 40 now, and while my mental state may be questionable, my health is still sound.

    I introduced family and friends to “boba” – my favorite tea haunt sells it. I personally don’t drink it because I’m sensitive to the sugars they add to it in their “milk teas.” But the others are addicted to it. Had it this afternoon. There’s a huge bag of it in the family cupboard to make it ourselves at home. I might be tempted to take another look at the label and the origin. But I don’t know that we’ll stop drinking it.

  • #8234

    Anonymous @

    ‘Tapioca’ eh? I’ve often wondered what happens to those polystyrene balls that form when packing material disintegrates. You know, the ones that stick to everything by static.

    Thanks for that Jackie, I never had much desire to try bubble tea and you’ve managed to dispel all thought of it!

  • #8701

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    Update to my original post: Just saw a new article mentioning a study by a German consumer protection agency that refutes the findings. 84 tested samples were found to be PCB free. Maybe safe to drink that stuff after all. Not that I have any desire to.

    http://sampan.org/2012/10/popular-tea-beverage-found-to-be-free-of-harmful-chemicals/

  • #8703

    Gingko
    Participant
    @gingkoseto

    *I love bubble tea made of real fruit (too bad a lot of them are made of nasty flavorings), but usually I don’t take the little balls with it.

  • #8704

    lazyliteratus
    Participant
    @lazyliteratus

    This is the greatest news I’ve ever heard. I hate bubble tea – with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I always knew it was evil…and now there’s possible proof.

  • #8750

    Robert Godden
    Participant
    @thedevotea

     I love bubble tea when it is made from great quality tea. And I have plenty of balls.

  • #8751

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    @thedevotea “And I have plenty of balls.” > I knew there was something funny about you. Guess everything is different Down Under. 

  • #8757

    Robert Godden
    Participant
    @thedevotea

    A perfectly innocent comment, @jackie, describing my preferred way of enjoying bubble tea. I am aware that many tea Traders have less balls than I.

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