Dr Helen Pilcher dunked each biscuit vertically, to its mid-point, in a mug of freshly prepared tea – with milk, no sugar – and maintained at a temperature of 60C to 65C
Before you take the dunk, you might want to digest these fun facts about the perfect time to soak your biscuit in a brew.
But be warned along with an optimal time to submerge your biccie, there is also a “dunking danger zone” before they dissolve into our hot tea. Dr Helen Pilcher, who has a PhD in stem cell biology, has discovered the average biscuit should absorb 20% of its original weight in liquid for the perfect dunk experience.
Milk Chocolate Digestives and Hobnobs can be dunked for just over three seconds to reach this point, while Penguin bars can last six and a half seconds. But it takes a mere five and seven seconds respectively for Fruit Shortcakes and Ginger Nuts before they are at risk of breaking up.
But Dr Pilcher, who has been appointed by McVitie’s as their “chief dunking officer”, found a Chocolate Caramel Digestive can withstand 40 seconds of plunging. She hopes her research will take the guesswork out of dunking. Her appointment followed a poll commissioned by the biscuit maker, which found the average person loses 83 snacks a year into their drinks.
Dr Pilcher said: “The porosity of a biscuit makes it an ideal snack to soak up all the deliciousness. However, Brits are still susceptible to over-dunking their biscuits, which is why we’ve identified the Optimum Dunking Time. Respect the Dunking Danger Zone and we can save the nation from future dunking disasters.”
The poll of 2,000 biscuit fans, via OnePoll, found Digestives are the favourite treat to submerge, followed by Chocolate Digestives and Rich Tea. Tea, coffee, and hot chocolate are the most popular beverages to dunk in, although milk and orange juice are also on the menu.
James King, of McVitie’s UK & Ireland, said: “We were shocked to discover how many biscuits are being lost to dodgy dunking each week. We’ve appointed a chief dunking officer to save the Great British public from these dunking debacles.”
The dunk test
Ginger nuts: Dunking time 0.3 seconds Danger zone 7.3 seconds
Fruit shortcake: Dunking time 0.3 seconds Danger zone 5.3 seconds
Digestive: Dunking time 0.4 seconds Danger zone 11.2 seconds
Hobnobs: Dunking time 0.5 seconds Danger zone 12.5 seconds
Rich Tea: Dunking time 0.6 seconds Danger zone 8.8 seconds
Jaffa Cakes: Dunking time 0.6 seconds Danger zone 9.2 seconds
Milk Chocolate Digestive: Dunking time 3.6 seconds Danger zone 12 seconds
Milk Chocolate Hobnobs: Dunking time 3.7 seconds Danger zone 19.5 seconds
Choc Caramel Digestive: Dunking time 5.0 seconds Danger zone 40.1 seconds
Penguin: Dunking time 6.5 seconds Danger zone 540 seconds