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Sampling the new AeroShot inhalable energy shot

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 3, 2012 01:27 PM

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Last month, I wrote about AeroShot, a powdered caffeine formulation delivered in a lipstick-sized inhaler. It's being marketed by Breathable Foods, a Cambridge company. Right now, it's only available through the company's Web site, at $2.99 per inhaler, but the product is supposed to appear in Boston and New York retail outlets this month, perhaps right next to the bottles of 5-Hour Energy Drink.

Already, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York has begun calling the product dangerous to teens; Schumer wrote a letter to the Food & Drug Administration in December suggesting that the product would encourage excessive caffeine intake, and could be used in combination with alcohol to fuel binge drinking.

We got some early AeroShot samples, started the video cameras, and huffed away. Each inhaler is supposed to deliver about 100 milligrams of caffeine — equivalent to a cup of coffee — along with B vitamins and Niacin. There was a noticeable buzz after a few puffs, but the powder's limey flavor was overpowered by an aggressive bitterness from the caffeine. The flavor lingers in your mouth for longer than you'd like, and it resembles lime Fun Dip blended with crushed aspirin. The overall effect is much more medicinal than enjoyable.

Here's the taste test I conducted recently with Boston.com senior business producer Joe Allen-Black.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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