(PCM) Surprise! Your tea has tiny chewy tapioca pearls at the bottom of it…and they may cause cancer.
Bubble tea is relatively new to the beverage scene, gaining widespread popularity with fans of all ages all across the globe; however, new research suggests that the chewy tapioca pearls at the bottom of the glass may offer more of a surprise than you bargained for.
German researchers from the University Hospital Aachen have discovered traces of PCBs in tapioca ball samples, found in the popular bubble tea drinks. According to the Daily News, the tapioca was taken from an unnamed chain in northwest Germany and originated in Taiwan.
PCBs, also known as aspolychlorinated biphenyls, are a carcinogenic chemical shown to cause cancer. They have also been shown to harm the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system, according to the EPA. The man-made chemical has been banned in the United States, however, they still exist in the environment.
“[What we found] includes in particular styrene, acetophenone, and brominated substances that shouldn’t be in food at all,” reports scientist Manfred Möller, of the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at the University Hospital Aachen.
Further research is needed, but you may want to think twice before you order your next tapioca-filled tea.