Thursday, July 17, 2008

How to test whether your Beano is good / whether your Beano works

I just got a new bottle of Beano(TM) drops, and tested them last night for activity. They are inactive! I wonder how many people are taking Beano to help their digestion, and are really getting no benefit at all because the enzymes are inactive! From now on I will test every new container of Beano I buy!

How to test:

Take a sample of peanut butter or cooked beans. Add a little Beano. Add water. The water should be 'absorbed' if the Beano is working.

Last night I scooped a spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar and put in in a bowl. I dripped two or three drops of Beano on the peanut butter, then mixed, then mixed in about as much water as peanut butter. What I got was soupy peanut butter. What I should have gotten (if the Beano was working) was very dry peanut butter.

The week before, I discovered that my Beano tablets were bad when I tried adding a few, dissolved in water, to refried beans. Again, what I got was soupy beans! :(


In 2000 or so I tried mixing Beano directly into a jar of peanut butter, and when I tasted the result, my mouth immediately went completely dry! I've never experienced such total dryness.

I'm no food science expert, but I happened to know one. A PhD candidate at UC Berkeley told me the way these enzymes work. They attach to a polysaccharide molecule, break a sugar-sugar bond, and recruit two water molecules to attach to the new broken ends.

So what happened was, the enzymes broke bonds and stuck water molecules on until they used up all the water in the peanut butter. Then they sat there waiting for more water so they could break more bonds. When I put the peanut butter in my mouth, they immediately grabbed all the water molecules they could and used them to break more bonds, hence the dry mouth!

I found that the peanut butter I was using could absorb a whole jar of water! I also found that when it was that broken-down, it quickly went bad, so I don't actually recommend treating a whole jar, but I do recommend testing any Beano you buy!

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