Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Barqs root beer

  1. Dec 24, 2008 #1
    I wasn't sure where to post this, so feel free to move it if you want.

    I was reading the ingredients in my root beer, and I noticed the ingredient, acacia.

    "The Ingredients:
    Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sucrose, caramel color, sodium benzoate (to protect taste), citric acid, caffeine, artificial and natural flavors, acacia."


    I wondered what it was, and found that it is a tree, but also that the tree contains various naturally occuring drugs.

    I was wondering what part of the acacia tree is in the soft drink, and why it is in there? How can a tree be listed as an ingredient?

    "Methamphetamine occurs naturally in Acacia berlandieri and possibly Acacia rigidula, trees which grow in west Texas. Acacia trees contain numerous other psychoactive compounds (ex. amphetamine, mescaline, nicotine, DMT, ...[34]), but scientific papers specifically mentioning the presence of methamphetamine did not exist until 1997 and 1998.[35]"


    Nicotine, mescalin, meth, and DMT, all in one tree, amazing.

    Anyways, is my root beer laced, or is acacia used for some other reason?
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2008 #2

    The seeds or "berries" are probably what is used. The relative content of the psychoactive compounds is different from one species to the next and they are generally found only in certain parts of the plant. Whether or not there are any of these compounds in the plants used to make Barq's I have no idea. I looked a bit and have not found anything stating what part of what plant is used.
  4. Dec 24, 2008 #3
    Wow. Well I guess that explains my root beer addiction a few years ago.
  5. Dec 24, 2008 #4

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    "Barqs got bite" they said.

    I found that out the hard way after drinking one late in the evening. At 3 AM I decided that it must have been loaded with caffeine. Root beer is not supposed to be caffeinated.

    Still hate them for that. Get "Mug" or A&W.
  6. Dec 24, 2008 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The acacia ingredient you are referring to is acacia gum. It gives a 'round' or 'rich' mouthfeel to the drink and stabilizes the foam. It is unique in the family of gums in that it does not appreciably affect viscosity even in higher concentrations.

    Acacia = Polysaccharide
  7. Dec 24, 2008 #6
    i used to drink Barq's when visiting relatives in MS back when i was a kid. it was pretty good back then. then it got wide distribution via coca-cola and something bad happened to it. i'm sure part of it was the industry-wide switch to HFCS instead of cane sugar (new coke, etc.). now barq's is just another soft drink. last time i had an IBC though, they were still pretty good.

    now what they oughta do is reintroduce sassafras root, liver cancer be damned.
  8. Dec 24, 2008 #7
    No way Chi, Barqs is the best.
  9. Dec 24, 2008 #8
    Barq's is definitely my favourite root beer.
  10. Dec 24, 2008 #9
    I need to buy myself one of these trees.
  11. Dec 24, 2008 #10
    I think root beer was originally a treatment for syphilis. At least Sasparilla was.
  12. Jun 6, 2009 #11
    Speaking of viscosity... Anybody know where I might find a table of viscosities for different sodas?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook