If you’ve ever doubted that there’s a great deal of offbeat research going on at any given moment, then consider that there’s at least one magazine dedicated to writing about it. That’s the Annals of Improbable Research, which is published by the same organization that sponsors The Ig Nobel Prizes, which “are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.”
Once upon a time buying tea could be something of a crapshoot, due to the fact that it was frequently adulterated for a variety of reasons and with a variety of not so pleasant substances. One of these was Prussian Blue, a dark blue dye said to be one of the first to be made synthetically. Which was something you might not want in your tea and which is why this 1914 study – Determination of Prussian Blue in Tea – could potentially have been of some value in those dark days.
Then there’s the one about quick melting tea residue. If you have no idea what that is, it’s okay. I didn’t either until I found some research with the rather compact title, A Study on the Feeding Value of Quick Melting Tea Residue. The Test of Digestion and Metabolism by Feeding Fatting Pigs with Quick Melting Residue. Given that full-text versions of the Chinese study are not readily available and perhaps not even in English, what exactly quick melting tea residue is and what effect it has when fed to pigs will have to remain something of a mystery for now.
Also from China, another rather offbeat study is called The Use of a Tea Polyphenol Dip to Extend the Shelf Life of Silver Carp (Hypophthalmicthys Molitrix) During Storage in Ice. As the name suggests the study was undertaken to examine the usefulness of tea’s polyphenols (those compounds said to give tea it’s health-giving properties) for storing frozen fish. The good news (I guess), according to researchers, is that tea polyphenols do actually seem to help in this area.
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