Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Rich Teas are best biscuits for dunking - Hobnobs are soggy imposters, scientists find

Lionel Richtea approves of this research
Lionel Richtea approves of this research

Having discovered the 'God Particle', science has turned to its next major challenge - determining which household name biscuit is best for dunking.

A comprehensive study led by Dr Stuart Farrimond found that when tested in hot tea at the optimum dunking angle of 90 degrees, Rich Teas were still going strong after 20 seconds.

Hobnobs were the first to crumble meanwhile, lasting just four seconds followed a split second later by the similarly insubstantial Ginger Nut.

Sadly there was no mention of the undisputedly majestic Malted Milk.

Malty favourite of many, the Rich Tea was found to take longer to absorb tea and offered better flexibility, an ideal dunk lasting between seven and 14 seconds.

The study had its flaws though, presuming stamina is everything in a biscuit, failing to take into account general deliciousness, and being of questionable objectivity given it was commissioned by McVitie's.

"The Hobnob biscuit is suitable for short dunks only because it is an oat-based biscuit, rather than wheat based - the larger oat particles in the Hobnob provide less structural strength to the biscuit," Dr Farrimond said in his science publication, Guru Magazine.

"A chocolate coating - or a cream filling - gives a biscuit additional strength.

"The chocolate covering on a chocolate digestive melts in the hot liquid, acting as a sticky gum to glue the surface of the biscuit together.

"A chocolate digestive lasts over six times longer than the naked digestive in prolonged dunking."

In a bid to reduce the number of over-dunks, where the biscuit break and falls to the bottom of the mug as a sludgy mess, Dr Farrimond called for a 'traffic light system' on packets.

"Given the danger of a hot biscuit falling onto a clean shirt, there should be a ‘dunk-o-meter’ traffic light advisory system for all packets of cookies and biscuits," he said.

"A red circle would indicate short dunk of under five seconds, amber would advise a five to ten second dip and green for longer."

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