When you're surrounded by friends and family over a plate of chips and an array of dips, you don't really care who dips, right? Well, a new study is saying that you should as double dipping could mean eating bacteria.
Double dipping is a lifestyle for anyone who loves crackers and chips further flavored by their favorite dip, which can be sour cream, ketchup, or salsa. It involves dipping food into the dip, taking a bite, then dipping the bitten food again, hoping to capture the same flavor your taste bud has immediately fallen in love with.
This habit, however, might be frowned upon now based on a study conducted by undergraduates of Clemson University. Like some people, they are also curious whether double dipping is disgusting and how nasty it can become.
To find out, they performed a series of experiments. In the first research, they used two types of crackers, bitten and unbitten, which they then dipped into water. Based on this test, they discovered that while the unbitten cracker didn't have any bacteria, bitten ones had as much as a thousand of them per millimeter of water.
They then proceeded to test unbitten and bitten crackers in water solutions with varying pH levels, mostly acidic, which mimic the pH of most of the dips. After two hours, enough time to see a possible bacterial growth, they learned that bitten crackers transferred bacteria to the solution, although their population can decrease the more acidic the solution is.
Finally, they conducted a test with bitten and unbitten crackers on three types of dips, namely, cheese, salsa, and chocolate. While there's no evidence of bacteria on crackers that were not double dipped, bacteria can populate up to five times more in salsa, which means that bacterial transfer is indeed possible during double dipping.
The presence of bacteria in the experiments can be explained by the fact the mouth actually has a variety of them. However, although many are harmless, some of them can be life threatening especially if they are passed on to people who are considered high risk, like children, people with old age, and those with poor immune system.