The signature color of your iconic Coke or Pepsi may be set to change, as a public interest group is calling for a ban on two caramel coloring agents used in the popular sodas. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a non-profit organization insisting on the ban, believes the chemical agents could cause cancer.
The group found the chemical reaction between sugars, ammonia and sulfates, which produce the colors react to form 2-methylimidazole (2-MEI) and 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), two chemicals proven to cause cancer in rats.
CSPI Executive Director, Michael F. Jacobson is the main proponent behind the initiative, stating that the chemicals are artificial, provide no nutritional value, and create a potential health risk.
If there’s a potential for risk, why would the major beverage companies even include them in the product?
Coca-Cola and other beverage companies contested that 4-methylimidazole form naturally in the browning reaction found even in household cooking and therefore are not dangerous, addictive, or bad for health.
This isn’t the first time that dangerous chemicals have been found as additives in soda.
For example, Red 40, a popular food coloring was banned when it was found to cause health problems.
The main reason for even including chemical food coloring in products is because people associate certain flavors with certain colors, for example red is associated with cherry and raspberry.
If Coke wasn’t that signature brown color, would we find it less tasty?
(Via French Tribune)