Every can of Coke contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar—an inflammatory, an energy sapper, and a leading cause of tooth decay—but it’s the 10mg of alcohol in every liter that might concern consumers the most. A new report reveals that many leading soda brands — including Coke and Pepsi — contain a small amount of alcohol per bottle. The findings are particularly startling for those who object alcohol for religious or spiritual reasons and may be unknowingly consuming it through Coke and Pepsi beverages.

French Scientists Find Alcohol Hiding in Coke and Pepsi

On June 27, Paris-based National Institute of Consumption (INC) revealed that half of the most popular sodas contain minute traces of alcohol – including incredibly popular Coke and Pepsi. In addition to Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola, Coca-Cola Classic Light, and Coke Zero also contain the minute alcohol content. Many cheaper supermarket versions are actually alcohol-free.

Admittedly, 10mg per liter isn’t much (it’s about 0.001 percent alcohol). Because the Qur’an forbids consumption of alcoholic beverages, though, some Muslims may take issue with that small percent, even if the Committee of the Mosque of Paris deems it still in line with their religious beliefs. Others who have decided to abstain from alcohol may also be outraged.

So, what is alcohol doing in soda? Michel Pepin, the scientific director for Coca-Cola France, says that traces of alcohol come from the process of making soda rather than the initial ingredients of its secret recipe. The amount is, however, legal. In fact, even orange juice has some alcohol because ethanol occurs naturally in many citrus fruits, particularly toward the end of harvest season, when the yeasts have had more time to convert sugar into alcohol.

Massive Sugar Content Spikes Disease Rates

Meanwhile, sugar and artificial sweetener consumption has been linked repeatedly with obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. A 2009 study even found that almost half of high-fructose corn syrup (usually in the top two ingredients of soda) contained toxic mercury. So no matter how you look at it, soda is definitely a health destroyer.

Additional sources:

Daily Mail

Oxford Journals

University of Buffalo Department of Psychology


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