The Coca Cola Company is planning a new product to fill in a consumption opportunity not already handled by the hundreds of beverages currently available to thirsty consumers. According to a company press release:
Day Or Night, New Caffeine Free Coke Zero Helps Fans Enjoy Their Favorite Drink At Any Time
Why does Coke need to add another beverage to its stable? Here’s the answer, from Stuart Kronauge, Head of Sparkling, Coca-Cola North America Group:
“Caffeine-free products are growing in popularity, making up nearly 30 percent of all sparkling beverage sales in the U.S. By introducing Caffeine Free Coke Zero, we’re giving fans exactly what they want, making the brand accessible for enjoyment all day long.”
Get it? you can have a diet Coke when you wake up, then another for lunch. A pick-me-up full calorie Coke for the 3pm blues, and a caffeine free Coke Zero at 7pm with dinner. That is the day of an ideal Coca Cola constituent. The new drink will be available sometime in the summer.
Here is the ingredient list of the current Coke Zero:
Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Aspartame, Potassium Benzoate (to Protect Taste), Natural Flavors, Potassium Citrate, Acesulfame Potassium, Caffeine
The new product will no doubt have the last ingredient removed. But we are still concerned about virtually all the others:
Caramel color is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures. The chemical reactions create 4-methylimidazole, which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats. This is why California recently required foods containing caramel color to be labeled as potential cancer-causing agents. But you won’t see this warning label any time soon – manufacturers simply reduced the use of caramel color enough that the labeling requirements no longer applied.
Phosphoric Acid has been linked to lower bone density in some epidemiological studies, including a discussion in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Aspartame – Several rat studies have shown aspartame to cause leukemia and tumors. However, industry sponsored studies and heavy pressure on the FDA have allowed aspartame to receive the coveted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) designation. A study in Denmark published in 2010 linked consumption of artificial sweeteners like aspartame to pre-term deliveries.
Acesulfame Potassium is another artificial sweetener that has been shown to be carcinogenic in some studies.
How about learning to drink water?