Scientists from Germany discovered an unpleasant “ingredient” in tea bags

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July 13, 2022, 09:07 | In the world

And nothing depends on the quality of tea.

Scientists from Germany discovered in tea bags nasty "ingredient"

We all had our appetite spoiled by German biologists studying environmental DNA. This is a very popular story in our time, which is called a revolution in the field of biomonitoring. The point is that on all surfaces and even just in the air there is DNA of everything contained in the environment – water, soil, excrement, flora and fauna. This is important for biologists: by studying DNA, they can tell exactly who lives in a particular area, Ukr.Media informs.

In search of such "scraps" molecules, employees of the University of Trier decided to test ordinary tea, which is sold in bags in any store. In all the samples, the scientists found the DNA of insects – up to hundreds of species in each bag, but only a few thousand species.

The scientists discovered the DNA of 3,264 insects, including predators, herbivores, detritophages and parasites. In general, it was possible to isolate genetic samples of 1,200 different species. By the way, each individual bag contained up to 200 DNA of different arthropods. And green tea became the leader with such an additive – more than 400 g in one bag.

Why is it so? Scientists suggest that leaves that were gnawed by insects could have gotten into the tea — this is enough for the plant to retain their DNA. If these leaves had time to fall under the rain or stood under the sun for some time, the molecule would have time to break down. But the crushed leaves preserve it until the moment when the tea hits the shelves.

Leading author of the study Henrik Krehenwinkel admitted that the results surprised him very much: he did not expect that 100-150 milligrams of tea would require several hundred species insects.

" Coffee will not show such results because the beans undergo roasting, during which any DNA breaks down, the scientist explains.

However, the goal of the researchers was not to show how "polluted" tea. They want to use this method to study plants from old herbariums. This is how biologists hope to find out which insects lived many years ago and in which territories.

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