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ASDA defies consumer guidelines, and diving for golf balls

55 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 03 December 2012

ASDA refuses to sign up to new Office of Fair Trading guidelines on supermarket promotions and discounts. The guidelines are supposed to reassure customers that discounts are genuine and that prices are not artificially inflated to allow price cuts. But ASDA says the guidelines could actually leave customers worse off. Could ASDA be right?

Direct selling used to be associated with Avon ladies and tupperware parties. Now more men are taking up selling straight to customers at home. We hear why.

And we hear from the diving team searching the deep for historic lost golf balls which date back to the origins of the game.

  • The results of our test - the biological solution broke down the egg protein more than the others tested

    Bio & Non-Bio test - which was more powerful?

    Biological washing powder contains several types of proteins called enzymes. These are naturally occurring molecules that all living things produce to do particular jobs. They are, if you like, nature’s molecular machines. There are enzymes that digest food, fight infections and replicate DNA. You name a biological process and enzymes are probably involved in it. That’s why the washing powders that contain them are ‘biological’.

    The enzymes that are added to washing powders are like molecular scissors that chop up fats, starch and proteins, all of which cause stains on your clothes. The result is cleaner clothes without needing to use hot washes (because the enzymes work at low temperatures).

    You can test the enzymes to see them in action with a nice simple demonstration using a hard boiled egg. The white of the egg is almost all protein, so one of the enzymes in the biological washing powder should literally digest it.

    1) Mix a teaspoon of biological washing powder into a glass of water, in a second glass add non-biological washing powder and in a third just add water.

    2) Take the white from a hard boiled egg and chop it into small pieces.

    3) Place one piece of chopped egg in each glass.

    4) Leave the glasses in a warm place (like on a radiator or airing cupboard) overnight.

    5) The next morning inspect the bits of egg.

    You should notice that the egg in the water and non-bio mixture hasn't changed, it still has nice sharp edges where you made the cuts. But the egg in biological mixture is smaller and the edges are much smoother. That’s because the enzymes have been busy chopping away at the egg white. And they do the same to the protein stains (like blood and grass stains) on your clothes. 


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