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Ben Greenfield Corner

The Truth About What’s Really In Everyday Products with Ben Katz

Reading Time: 7 minutes

What I Discuss with Ben Katz:

-Ben Katz’s experience in the world of mass spectrometry, an analytical tool used to uncover hidden components in various products…02:01

-Discussion into physical chemistry and the sophisticated instruments used in molecular compound analysis…06:08

-The workings of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography (GC) and how they pair with mass spectrometry for high-resolution results…08:10

-The difference between liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LCMS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS), their unique applications, and the significant costs…11:55

-Insights from Katz’s work with the DEA and FDA, focusing on the differences between tobacco-derived and synthetic nicotine…18:43

-The rise of synthetic nicotine and the importance of ensuring purity in nicotine products, including testing “Zyn“…21:47

-Katz reviews “Lucy” gum, and emphasizes the importance of testing vape products for impurities, including synthetic flavors…24:03

-The potential of zero-nicotine pouches as a safer alternative to traditional nicotine products…31:09

-Complexities of analyzing kratom and kava extracts, highlighting the variability of user experiences due to individual genetics and specific compounds found in these substances…37:36

-Techniques used to understand drug interactions at the neuronal level…41:39

Kava, its chemical composition, and its interactions with CB1 and CB2 receptors…45:01

-The chemical analysis of everyday foods and supplements, such as the ratio of theobromine to caffeine in chocolate candy like M&Ms…47:29

-Discovery of appropriate theobromine to caffeine ratios in Kinder Eggs, ensuring safety for children…50:48

-Concerns about the widespread, unreported use of synthetic growth regulators in food products…52:26

-Information on the mushroom product market, and the labor intensity of growing mushrooms…55:52

Caffeine in your chocolate… synthetic cooling agents masking burning sensations in your gum, mints, and vapes… bioactive compounds you never expected in your cosmetics and beyond.

What if the ingredients on the label don’t tell the full story?

In today’s show, you’ll meet Ben Katz, a scientist who exposes what’s really in your supplements, foods, drinks, and other products using advanced analytical techniques shared on his popular MassSpecEverything social media channels. Throughout this fascinating discussion, you’ll discover how Ben pulls back the curtain on consumer products using mass spectrometry and chromatography to identify and quantify chemical compounds. Additionally, you’ll uncover the surprising truth about the levels of caffeine in chocolate and other candies marketed toward kids. Ben also reveals what he found after analyzing samples of two products that I frequently get asked about: “Feel Free,” a bottled blend of kratom and kava (video here) and Lucy nicotine gum (video here).

Ben specializes in the field of mass spectrometry, a technique used to identify and analyze chemical compounds. Mass spectrometry is an analytical tool useful for measuring the mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) of one or more molecules present in a sample. These measurements can be used to calculate the exact molecular weight of the sample components as well — so technically, using a tool like Ben does, you can find out a lot about the supplements, drinks, gums, and other compounds you consume on a regular basis.

Brace yourself as Ben explains the presence of concerning compounds like diphenylamine, a synthetic growth regulator sprayed on fruits and vegetables. He advocates for more transparency around these post-harvest treatments, even in organic produce. You’ll also get Ben’s take on cleaner sources of nicotine, flavors with potentially toxic effects, and cutting-edge technologies that could one day allow you to have a mass spectrometry device in your home.

Whether you’re a label scrutinizer or just curious about what’s really in popular products, this eye-opening episode will leave you looking at the world of consumer goods in a whole new light!

Please Scroll Down for the Sponsors, Resources, and Transcript

Episode Sponsors:

Auro Wellness: Auro Wellness develops innovative products to help the body detoxify, heal, and defend itself naturally, function at an optimal level, and age gracefully. Head to and use code BEN10 to get 10% off your first bottle of Glutaryl.

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Organifi Happy Drops: One of my favorite tactics for daily superfood support, these gummies combine potent, clinically studied ingredients for natural mood-lifting, mental calmness, and stress relief. Go to for 20% off your order.

Apollo: Apollo is a safe and non-invasive wearable that actively improves your sleep. Head over to and use code BG15 for 15% off.

Fatty15: Fatty15 contains the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in over 90 years! Science supports that Fatty15 has 3x more cellular benefits than omega-3, and is the leading longevity molecule. Get an additional 15% off their 90-day subscription Starter Kit by going to and using code BEN at checkout.

Resources from this episode:

– Ben Katz:

– Articles and Studies:

– Other Resources:

Upcoming Events:

  • The Longevity Circle Retreat in Croatia — Superyacht Wellness Adventure: Sept 4–10, 2024

Step aboard the ultimate luxury wellness journey. Secure your spot here on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure and be part of a select group dedicated to elevating their health.

  • Biohacking Retreat with Ben Greenfield — Costa Rica: Oct 28–31, 2024

Connect with the essence of biohacking amidst Costa Rica’s natural beauty. Secure your spot here to ensure you don’t miss out!

  • Ben Greenfield Retreat — Portugal: Nov. 12–16, 2024

Experience the ultimate wellness retreat this fall in Portugal with four nights of luxury accommodation, gourmet meals, rejuvenating spa treatments, daily calisthenics workouts, and workshops on alchemy and Kokedama. Secure your spot here.

  • Wim Hof Method Travel — Seminarzentrum Riederalp, Germany: December 11–15, 2024

Join the attendees who come from all over the world, seeking to push themselves to new heights, process hardships or trauma, and simply enrich their lives with new experiences and friendships. You can discover more and book your spot here!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for me or Ben Katz? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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