60 MILLIONS DE CONSOMMATEURS, LE MONDE, LE PROGRES (France)
PARIS – Ever wondered what's the secret ingredient that makes sodas taste so delicious? Sugar, sweeteners, additives, caffeine…. alcohol?
Yes, you read it: alcohol. French magazine 60 Millions de Consommateurs, the French equivalent of Consumer Reports, compiled a list of ingredients found in 19 of our favorite sodas. Though they weren't able to obtain Coca-Cola or Pepsi Co's secret recipe, they analyzed the composition of the drinks in a laboratory.
The results were quite revealing. They discovered plants and spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as citrus fruits. Some of the organic compounds used to create aromas, such as terpenes, are highly allergenic – something that isn't disclosed on the sodas. And, yes, small traces of alcohol.
60 Millions also reveals the presence of other "controversial" ingredients such as phosphoric acid or ammonia-sulfite caramel E150D food coloring, which California had listed as carcinogenic. Following California's announcement, Coca-Cola and Pepsi changed their recipe in the United States but aren't planning to do so in Europe.
Le Progrès reports that 10 out of 19 sodas tested by the magazine contained alcohol, including Coke and Pepsi. According to French law, a beverage is considered to be alcoholic with more than 1,2 percent alcohol. Sodas have around 0,001 percent.
But worse than alcohol, says Le Monde, is the amount of sugar found in sodas: 18 sugar cubes per liter for Coca-Cola, 17 for Pepsi. This translates to about six sugar cubes per can. And if you prefer the "light" versions, be wary of the sweeteners used, some of which are suspected to be highly toxic.