Being a scientist, I am interested in natural phenomena. And, being a gastronaut,  I am naturally keen to explore the distant reaches of the food universe.  Generally my voyages into multidimensional food space are uneventful. But now and then I encounter foodstuffs that push back. Food that does pressure-volume (PV) work on the internals.

Some foods are capable of generating many moles of gas phase product that is appreciably insoluble in the digestive fluids. The result is an inflation of the gastric spaces and prompt notice to the brain of distress.

Fortunately the good folks at Beano have a commercially available product that in my hands or … ahem … elsewhere … makes a dramatic difference in the discomfort level associated with certain legumes. The secret of this wonder of science is alpha galactosidase. When taken before the first bite of PV generating foods, it causes a drastic reduction in the inflation of the large intestine. This enzyme aids in the hydrolysis of troublesome saccharides that are otherwise left to travel from the small to the large intestine where the gut flora go to town.

All the legume eater has to do is to chew 2 or 3 Beano tablets right before the first spoonfull of chili or pintos. In my half dozen live fire beano tests and one frightening control experiment, I have to say that I am a believer. I am grateful and my family is even more grateful.

Science for the betterment of mankind. Ya gotta love it.

Advertisements