According to a recent study by German researchers, the wonderfully gummy tapioca pearls that come in Taiwanese bubble tea drinks might cause cancer.
The scientists found traces of PCB-like (polychlorinated biphenyl) substances in the pearls, which increases the risk of cancer. The study comes on the heels of a public health warning earlier this month, which warned that the pearls present a choking risk to children.
According to The Local:
“[What we found] includes in particular styrene, acetophenone, and brominated substances that shouldn’t be in food at all,” said Möller, who has been testing food samples at the institute for several years.
The institute has yet to release details of the concentration of the toxic substances it found.