Solidifies in your stomach, not in your hands.

A little while back we reported on a new drink by the makers of the In Jelly brand of nutritionally fortified pouches of gelatin. This drink, called In Tansan, is sold in the form of a can of soda, but once drunk it reacts with stomach acids to become a heavier jelly which reduces a person’s hunger.

Many people, including myself, were intrigued by the product and wanted to try it out. However, at the time it was incredibly difficult to find. Demand was high and the only place to buy the limited supply was through Amazon in cases of six for 1,426 yen (US$9) or 30 for 7,128 yen ($44). I had to check the Amazon page for Morinaga, the company that makes the drink, several times a day trying to catch a moment when orders could be placed, and then had to wait about 10 days for it to be delivered.

Once a six-pack of lemon-flavored In Tansan was in my possession, I prepared to put it to the test by eating a light breakfast of a single muffin and lighter lunch of some convenience store pancakes.

▼ Quick shout out to 7-Eleven’s Tsubuan & Whipped Cream Pancakes. They’re phenomenal even if they do make for a horrible lunch.

I then waited until about three o’clock when the usual afternoon hunger creeps in, pulled out a can, and drank it at a normal pace. The cans are rather small at about 190 milliliters (6.4 ounces), which is around the size of most canned coffees, so it doesn’t take long to drink.

In Tansan comes in lemon and dry grapefruit flavors, with the dry grapefruit having zero calories and the lemon just 18 calories due to the addition of sweeteners Stevia and monkfruit. I opted for the lemon since I’m not all that worried about the damage 18 calories will do to my figure and kind of hate the taste of grapefruit.

▼ “Per 100 mL: 18 calories, 0 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 6.3 grams carbohydrates, 0.12 grams salt equivalent, 15 milligrams GABA, 0 grams caffeine”

The taste of the lemon flavor was like a very normal carbonated lemon drink with a good level of sweetness and none of that “weird” sweetness I usually get from diet sodas, but right away I noticed a considerable difference in the texture.

Even though the drink was fully liquid, there was a subtle jelly-like consistency present too. As a result, it tasted rather creamy compared to other carbonated drinks. I thought it was different but not bad at all, though this kind of thing really is a matter of personal preference and I could see some people being potentially put off by it.

After drinking the whole thing, there was a noticeable reduction in hunger. It didn’t go away completely, but it wasn’t as nagging. I’d compare it to a pre-hunger feeling where I could eat but wouldn’t mind waiting if need be. On the other hand, I still felt the lightheadedness that comes with hunger since all I really “ate” was some nearly empty jelly.

▼ In the hopes of getting some pictures of the drink in jelly form, I tried to simulate stomach acid with a 100-milliliter solution of lemon juice but it didn’t work. It looks like there are other factors beyond acidity at play – possibly temperature or other chemicals.

The one can held me for about two hours before the hunger pangs started coming back, so I decided to down another can. Much to my surprise the effect seemed even stronger that time around. My hunger almost completely subsided and my head was even feeling clearer, possibly due to the additional dose of GABA. This effect lasted for about another two hours.

In Tansan is marketed as a “hunger management” drink, which is a pretty appropriate term for it. It’s not as simple as just chugging a can and wiping away hunger, but with the right management of time and the amount needed, it works really well. This time, I was unusually hungry, so one can didn’t quite kill my hunger, but it probably would have completely solved my afternoon snack craving if I had eaten a normal breakfast and lunch.

Since one can of In Tansan works out to 238 yen ($1.48), it’s not a bad substitute for a snack price-wise either. It’s just too bad that these cans can only be bought in bulk online rather than having the option of grabbing a can at the convenience store when needed. Still, at least they’re much easier to order from Amazon these days, so go ahead and pick up a pack if you’re looking for a simple way to stave off hunger without packing on unnecessary pounds.

Related: Amazon/Morinaga
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