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From forest to freezer: A Google Gulp history

It is estimated that nearly half of Planet Earth's plant and animal species live in tropical rain forests, the vast majority of them undiscovered by humans and therefore not yet subjected to commercial exploitation. For Google, this cornucopia of undigitized data represented an irresistible acquisition target. So, for the past two years, as his 20% project, VP of operations Urs Hoelzle has spent one day a week collecting flora samples in several Bolivian sub-equatorial rain forests. For the most part, the compounds he returned with were nothing special – the usual grab-bag of future steroids, muscle relaxants, skin care appliqués and long-shot cancer drugs.

But on July 11th, 2003, while gathering epiphyte samples in the upper canopy of a kapok tree in the forbidding Cordillera Apolobamba range on the Bolivian/Peruvian border, Hoelzle snagged a leaf from what turned out to be a previously unknown species of strangler fig. Back in the Google Labs, early DNA sequencing and protein synthesis revealed that the compound – informally dubbed Ursa Major within the Googleplex – had certain remarkable biochemical capabilities. Eighteen months' worth of patent applications, trademark inquiries, budget prioritization and Phase II trials later, Hoelzle's intrepid adventuring finds fulfillment in a beverage aisle near you.

Chemical Structure for Ursa Major
Chemical structure for "Ursa Major"

Google Gulp and Your Privacy
From time to time, in order to improve Google Gulp's usefulness for our users, Google Gulp will send packets of data related to your usage of this product from a wireless transmitter embedded in the base of your Google Gulp bottle to the GulpPlex™, a heavily guarded, massively parallel server farm whose location is known only to Eric Schmidt, who carries its GPS coordinates on a 64-bit-encrypted smart card locked in a stainless-steel briefcase handcuffed to his right wrist. No personally identifiable information of any kind related to your consumption of Google Gulp or any other current or future Google Foods product will ever be given, sold, bartered, auctioned off, tossed into a late-night poker pot, or otherwise transferred in any way to any untrustworthy third party, ever, we swear. See our Privacy Policy.

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Learn more

  Google gulp introduction

 From forest to freezer : history

  4 great flavors : product details

  Frequently asked questions


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