McVitie's have responded to Paul Hollywood's Jaffa Cake dunking debate

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The usual Jaffa Cake debate centres on whether it can be classed as a biscuit or a cake.

But Paul Hollywood sparked a whole new divide among the British public on Wednesday night's opening episode of the new series of The Great British Bake Off: to dunk or not to dunk.

Paul had no shame as he dunked his Jaffa (BBC)

In response to the judge's brazen dip of the cake in his cup of tea, makers McVitie's have issued an official statement confirming that Paul made a big faux-pas.

McVitie's Brand Director, Kerry Owens, said: "Only Brits could be so passionate about this issue, and they have spoken - Jaffa Cakes are not for dunking!

"As the experts of all things Jaffa Cake (and dunking) we tend to agree - the sponge base just isn't robust enough to hold up in a hot drink.

Officially

"However, Paul is the nation's expert of all things baking so maybe we'll see him starting a new trend."

Research commissioned by the company after Paul's etiquette error revealed three quarters of Britons claim that they have never dunked a Jaffa Cake in their tea or coffee.

However 50% say that they would try it in the future, suggesting that Paul may indeed by the next food trendsetter.

Mary Berry could barely hide her distaste (BBC)

As ever, fellow judge Mary Berry provided comfort to the nation in this time of controversy.

She admonished Paul on the show, saying: "We don't do that in the South, you know."

The 12 new amateur bakers in the tent were set the task of making a dozen Jaffa Cakes for their first technical challenge of the series.

Every year, over one million Jaffa Cakes are made at the McVitie's factory in Manchester and are their second most popular product - only behind chocolate digestives.

The bakers struggled with their Jaffa Cake technical (Tom Graham/Love Productions/BBC)

In a 1991 VAT tribunal, the Government announced that Jaffa Cakes should be considered cakes on the basis of characteristics including hardening when stale and being substantially sponge.

The ruling makes them exempt from VAT, unlike their luxury biscuit cousins.