Update: 12/11/10

Getting very much busier as the days of chemical analysis have commenced. Searching for the causative compound is like searching for a needle in a haystack… gosh I had no idea how much time / work is involved to do a screening of just one sample!

On another note… I had mentioned in my previous post that a particular species of pine nuts was observed across all the problem samples. However, because this species has been consumed in China for years, I had the impression that not all of these small oval-ish pine seeds will cause bitterness. And so I had a kind friend help me to purchase a pure batch of these from China (pic: right)… when I saw that the tips were slightly less dark than the ones in some of the problem samples, I was even more convinced that they would be fine. So I happily popped a heaping teaspoon of it from the freshly-opened packet right into my mouth (they tasted great, by the way!) and voila, I’m on board again with pine mouth [beginning Day 3 now]. Once again, I’d like to reiterate that if you see these particular seeds (pic: left and right) in your supermarket pine nuts, please avoid them until the mystery is solved. Doesn’t hurt to play on the safe side. Sometimes they are present in such small amounts that you don’t notice them until you take a very very close look. I will make a picture post soon of the different types of pine nuts I have seen in the supermarket samples.

That’s it from me for now… I would like to ask again for your help and patience — I am still collecting samples and complete survey responses for the research. In these next few weeks, I am planning a taste sensitivity test which I would like to involve some of you (if you have filled in the survey, you’d probably will be receiving emails from me in the coming weeks!). I will also be contacting some of you individually to resolve some blanks.

Thank you all for your help and here’s a quick statistics update again:

  • Number of hits: 3250
  • Number of surveys done: 171 (and 20+ more incomplete)
  • Number of samples received: 26
  • Number of samples promised but yet to be received: 26 (I’m still wondering about some who said they will send the seeds 5-6 weeks ago. If you’ve decided not to do so anymore, do kindly drop me an email, thank you!)
  • Number of samples I hope to receive: 50
  • Number of surveys I hope to receive: 200-300

About grrrrracey

I love to eat, I love to cook, and I love to dig into every mystery about food!
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