December 24, 2020

The Gift of the Methyl Group Magi


A CPG twist on a holiday classic, with happier results

Paraxanthine and Theophylline sat at their Thanksgiving table.
“What have I got to be thankful for?” grumbled Xan. “No one’s ever heard of me. Caffeine gets all the hype, even though I’m more potent with less of the negative side effects. I want to be recognized for being better at blocking adenosine receptors. I want to see my formula on t-shirts and mugs! I want to be the name people whisper desperately as they stumble towards their kitchens.”
“If you don’t like your life, change it,” suggested Theo.
“Self-help mantras are well and good for humans, but what’s an organic compound to do? The holidays are so depressing. Another year gone by, and what have I got to show for it?”
While Xan continued to whine about the winter of her discontent, Theo googled “Formulation and Chemical Synthesis” and requested a quote from Cambridge Polymer Group.
Theo announced, “Xan, I’m going out now to get you a present. I’ll be back in 10-15 days.”
This revelation distracted Xan from her navel gazing. “Theo is getting me a gift??? I wonder what it could be?”
Ten days later, FedEx left a package on Xan’s doorstep. She rushed out to grab the box, which was almost stolen by porch pirates.
“Maybe it’s Theo’s present,” Xan thought excitedly. She opened the package and nearly lost her electrons when Theo jumped out of the box.
“Theo, is that really you?” Xan eyed him suspiciously, “You look a little different…”
“Here Xan,” said the Caffeine formerly known as Theo, “Have a carbon dihydride. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”
“Oh, thanks so much,” gushed Xan, as she accepted his gift. “But now I’m Caffeine and you’re not, and I have nothing to give you.”
“That’s OK, Xan-I mean, Caff. I gave you my position 1 carbon dihydride, so I’m Theobromine now. We can be chocolate together.”
Box of chocolates.jpg

Total ion chromatogram of 4 chocolate samples showing peaks of caffeine and theobromine in water extraction.