Coca-Cola Recipe Rediscovered and Yet Another Ingredient Causes Cancer

Coca-Cola has nothing to offer the sustainable and local food platform that I rest on, even the can it comes in is covered in the toxin BPA that Canada banned. But after seeing the juxtaposition  of the news spot below about the discovery of the Coca-Cola recipe and hearing it called,’the holy grail of the soft drink universe,’ in a different news clip, I felt strongly that the information about the lovely gifts that ‘caramel coloring’ gives us should also be shared.

Really? Under lock and key for 125 years? They certainly do a better job of protecting that recipe than they do their consumers with whom they seem wholly unconcerned.

My favorite headline of the day was “Surprisingly, Cola Ingredient May Cause Cancer”.  Surprisingly?

And if you are a diet coke drinker you get the double serving of carcinogens from the aspartame. Of the several articles I read, Tom Philpott over at Grist gave the clearest explanation about the caramel coloring.

“Caramel Color IV (synonyms: ammonia sulfite process caramel, sulfite ammonia caramel, sulfite ammonia process caramel, acid-proof caramel, beverage caramel, and soft-drink caramel) is prepared by the controlled heat treatment of carbohydrates with ammonium-containing and sulfite-containing compounds.

So, they take carbohydrates and cook them up with ammonia-based chemicals. In addition to dark color, the process also yields a carcinogenic chemical called 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI for short. CSPI points to studies on both rats and mice fed 4-MI showing significant carcinogenic effects.

Evidence of 4-MI’s cancer-causing power is so strong, CSPI points out, that just last month, the state of California added [PDF] the substance to its list of “chemicals known to the state to cause cancer.” “California has determined that [4-MI] levels above 16 micrograms per day pose a significant risk,” CSPI reports. How much is in a can of cola? According to CSPI, 130 micrograms — eight times higher than California’s danger threshold. Drink two cans per day, and you’re ingesting 16 times the level deemed dangerous by California.”

Fantastic. And if that wasn’t enough, this gentleman soaked an egg in coke for a year.

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One Comment to “Coca-Cola Recipe Rediscovered and Yet Another Ingredient Causes Cancer”

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