A research developed by the Rockefeller University (USA) has shown that it performs an adulteration of tea bags with items not appearing on the identification of ingredients on the labels. Found different herbs that are generally not harmful to health (indicated however, that could affect a small minority of the population) but is a clear consumer fraud.
The research involved an ethnobotanist, an expert in plant molecular and three students used a genetic barcode, method of taxonomy (classification) that uses a short genetic marker DNA (gene) of an organism to identify its species.
Sure, it has not only been able to determine the adulteration of tea bags, has also identified some bags of herbs to make a tea were also adulterated or put another way, were ingredients that were not reflected in the labeling The data show that the ingredients in 4% of samples from bags of tea and 35% of herbal teas are not checked against the labels .
Some examples that provide study, evidence of genetic bar code found that an infusion of St. John's wort ( Hypericum perforatum ), also known as wort hypericum or among other names, contained elements from a variety of fern. In an infusion bag whose contents were lemon grass or lemon grass , root ginger , blackberry leaves or lemon peel and other spices, had also called pill winter ( Poa annua ), a common weed in crops and golf courses . In some tea infusions presence was conspicuous by its absence, were species were very similar but not tea, in some cases DNA has been detected in plants related to the parsley family, of course, were not indicated on the label.
Consumed million cups of tea and herbal teas throughout the world, so this type of consumer fraud could reach a large magnitude, as the researchers say, know what's goodie bags to the infusion is an issue of concern to millions of people who love this type of beverage . Thanks to genetic barcode, analytical technique developed by the University of Guelph (Canada) in 2003, we can identify and distinguish quickly, cheaply and effectively known and unknown species, following this thread is interesting to note that it is built by different institutions around the world with a library of DNA barcodes for plants and animals, which makes it easy to detect as they increase the data contained in the library.
Returning to the study, collected samples belonged to 33 manufacturers from 17 countries, I said earlier that the fraud must have a global scale. All samples were acquired in 25 different locations in New York, shops, canteens and even the homes of researchers. It might have been interesting if the samples have been collected exclusively from the malls and stores that distribute them to ensure that there has been no manipulation, this makes us think they will do another study on the subject.
The publication of the Rockefeller University tell us about the details of the work, we used laboratory equipment purchased online, and the work of the DNA extraction were carried out in different places, although most took place in the Garden New York Botanical. Then the samples were sent to a laboratory for DNA sequencing and after obtaining the results was only necessary to consult the database of GenBank DNA .
The conclusion of the news we've known throughout Stuff is that it can detect fraud of this type with a small financial investment, possibly a result of this study was to develop new work to detect the adulteration of tea bags and herbal tea bags, we will soon meet new news about it.
Photo | Ginnerobot