Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Of Note: Red Bull, a.k.a. Ox Bile Soda?

This just in: The FDA in Maharashtra, India has banned the sale of Red Bull, the ever-popular uber-caffinated drink, because it's recently been uncovered that one of the enzymes used to make the drink may come from the bile of Oxen, though the folks at Red Bull firmly deny this.

If this is true, I'm sure all those Red-Bull-and-Vodka guzzling hipsters in bars around the world will be surprised to hear this, especially the vegetarians of the bunch. First, of course, there's the eew factor -- I mean, who really wants to be drinking Ox bile? And second, there's the safety issue: Where are they getting the ox bile? How is it being handled? If the FDAs of the world aren't regulating it to make sure it comes from healthy oxen, who is? All very interesting questions. And if this is not true, I'd be very curious to hear how and why the rumor got started. But regardless of the whole ox bile issue, I wouldn't mind if Red Bull was banned all together ... really, who needs that much caffeine? I'm hyper enough without it, thank you: Just one of those babies and I'd be a jittery-babbling mess with no choice but to sprint from New York City to Maine just to get it out of my system.

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2 Comments:

Blogger lhooq said...

well, historically, that is why it's called *taur*ine. named after the taurus and ox bile, from which it was originally extracted. fairly sure there are cheaper ways of extracting it these days.

or is that why people who drink the stuff are always so bilious?

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The taurine in Redbull is synthetically made in a pharmaceutical facility. It is way cheaper to chemically synthesize it (and it has a better consistency too) than to extract it from Ox bile. I wouldn't be squirmish about ingesting ox bile though, ox liver taste fabulous!

Furthermore, taurine is not an enzyme, but an amino acid. A biological enzyme is a protein. The enzyme used in the making of redbull may not even have anything to do with the synthesis of taurine.

And what's the big deal about Taurine. Human milk contains lots of Taurine and all reputable infant formula milk boast of taurine fortification, so does all brands of cat food. Taurine is essential for the normal development of an infant's brain.

And vegetarians don't fret. The cow is after all a vegetarian.

6:41 AM  

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