You’ll all agree that Coca-Cola is legendary, albeit not “necessarily” for the quality of the beverage. It’s just everywhere, distinct, and has always been there. For many of us, or at least those of us with relatively relaxed parental upbringing, it was the first beverage we ever sipped, most likely at a party in our childhood and youth, accompanied by a delicious plate of Jollof rice. As we made “that face” and guzzled down the “dark cola juice,” we stared into the mist, completely focused on its satisfying taste.
Coca-Cola’s familiar red brand colour may appear rote, kind of everywhere. But it has a bit of mystery to it, and even some history. Did you know that, it was produced as a “local” beverage.
So, I got this manual (the red booklet in the picture) at a Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) conference I attended at The Nelrose Hotel in Asaba, Delta State, and I thought I’d share the information in it with our readership.
Question and Answers about Their Products and Ingredients
The answers to the following questions are the based on the opinions from The Coca-Cola Company’s booklet on their products.
- Are the ingredients in Coca-Cola beverages safe and approved?
Yes. Ensuring the safety and quality of our products has been at the core of our business and is directly linked to the success of our Company. Our safety and quality programs and protocols focus on the ingredients and materials we use to develop and package our products.
- Does Coca-Cola have a quality management system?
Yes. The Coca-Cola Operating Requirements System (KORE) is a new management system that outlines clear requirements for the policies, specifications and programs that guide our operations for product quality, occupational safety and health, and environmental standards across the entire Coca-Cola system.
- What is carbonation, and how does it affect the taste of sparkling beverages?
Carbonation occurs when carbon dioxide, the natural gas we breathe out and which plants take in is pushed into liquids under pressure. The gas is trapped inside and released when you open a bottle of your favorite sparkling beverage. Carbonation gives sparkling beverages their characteristic “biting” taste and refreshing quality. For centuries, carbonated beverages have been thought to help ease indigestion, but more studies in this area are needed.
- Does the carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages contain calories?
No. The carbonation that puts the fizz in sparkling beverages does not contain calories, as it is made up of carbon and oxygen only. As such, carbonation does not contribute to weight gain. Further, carbonation does not cause cellulite.
- Is caffeine safe?
Yes. Caffeine is safe and has been an ingredient in many of our Coca-Cola products for over a century. Moderate caffeine consumption for adults, considered to be about 300mg per day, or about the amount contained in about 3 cups of coffee has not been associated with adverse health effects. Pregnant and nursing women, or women trying to become pregnant, should consult a doctor regarding caffeine consumption.
- Is caffeine dehydrating?
No. According to the U.S. Institute of Medicine, all beverages hydrate, including those with caffeine.
- Does Coca-Cola hydrate?
Yes. All beverages hydrate, including those that contain caffeine. Sparkling beverages, both regular and low calorie, contain between 85% and 99% water, making them appropriate choices to meet your hydration needs. Some studies have shown that consuming a variety of beverages can help people achieve adequate fluid intake and therefore promotes proper hydration. We offer beverages with and without calories to help meet hydration needs. When consuming beverages with calories, it is important to remember that all calories count, no matter what food or beverage they come from.
- How much sodium do sparkling beverages contain?
Sparkling beverages contain a minimal amount of sodium that comes predominately from sodium in the local water supply used to produce our beverages. In fact, the sodium content is so small that most of our beverages can be labeled as “low sodium” or “very low sodium” where permitted by national regulations.
- What sweeteners are used in Coca-Cola products?
Sweet tastes usually come from two types of sweeteners: caloric sweeteners like sugar which provides 16 calories per teaspoon, and low and no-caloric sweeteners for use by people with diabetes. All of the sweeteners used in our products meet strict regulatory standards. These sweeteners include:
- Table sugar or sucrose
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Low- and No-Calorie Sweeteners:
- Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K or Acesulfame K)
- Aspartame (aka Amino sweet)
- Stevia Extract
- What is Coca-Cola’s policy on nutrition labeling?
The Coca-Cola Company is committed to providing factual, meaningful and understandable nutrition information about all our products. We believe in the importance and power of informed choice and continue to support fact-based nutrition labeling, education and initiatives that encourage people to live active, healthy lifestyles. In 2009, we became the first company in the beverage industry to make front-of-package energy labeling (as calories, kilocalories or kilojoules) a global commitment for nearly all of our products by the end of 2011.
The Coca-Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness – www.thebeverageinstitute.com
European Food Information Council – www.eufic.org
International Food Information Council – www.ific.org