University of Washington associate professor Richard Keil said the spices and flavorings vary depending on the time of the year. For example, around Thanksgiving, researchers have detected a spike in thyme and sage; around the Fourth of July, waffle-cone and caramel-corn byproducts surge.
Keil and his research team have been tracking the “pulses” of food ingredients that enter the Puget Sound. They found that of all the food ingredients detected, artificial vanilla is most prevalent in the sound. The team found an average of about 6 milligrams of artificial vanilla per liter (mg/L) of water sampled; the region’s wastewater effluent contains more than 14 mg/L. According to the story, “This would be like spiking an Olympic-size swimming pool with approximately ten 4-ounce (113.4-gram) bottles of artificial vanilla.”
Puts a whole new perspective on the branding of “Dunkin’ Donuts!”