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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Ingredients in Coke

By April 26, 2010

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You probably know that once upon a time Coca-Cola or Coke contained cocaine. What you might not know is that the beverage is still flavored with an extract from the coca leaf and that the cocaine which is extracted from the leaves is sold for medicinal use. The Stepan Company extracts cocaine from the coca leaves, which is sold to Mallinckrodt, the only US company that is licensed to purify cocaine. So... what are the other ingredients in Coke and what do they do?
  • carbonated water
  • sugar (which can be sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup)
  • caffeine
  • phosphoric acid v. caramel (E150d)
  • natural flavorings (which include coca leaf extract)
The purpose of the carbonated water and sugar is obvious, but you may be unaware caramel coloring is also an important flavoring agent... well, unless you ever tried the clear versions of Coke or Pepsi, which were vile. Caramel color is a soluble food coloring that is prepared by heat treating carbohydrates. The golden or brown liquid retains a bitter taste and burnt sugar odor. The caffeine is a stimulant, but also contributes a characteristic bitter flavor to the cola. The secret formula of the additional flavorings is known to two executives at Coca-Cola. The original copy of the formula is kept in Atlanta in the SunTrust Bank's vault.


March 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm
(1) beverly nelson says:

What is the aspertine in the cokes?

April 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm
(2) ayanah says:

coke is good

November 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm
(3) OO7 says:


October 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm
(4) we says:

hi,coke is the best

December 15, 2011 at 7:05 pm
(5) u says:

coke sucks and gets you high

December 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm
(6) VZ205 says:

our teacher loves coke!!!!! GO COKE:-D yipee heehee

March 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm
(7) anonomous says:

coke tastes nasty

March 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm
(8) qwerty21 says:

your nasty coke is the bomb!!!!!

March 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm
(9) knowone says:

thinks it is nasty

March 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm
(10) steve says:

coke use to be GREEN

March 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm
(11) yes says:

. . . pepsi is better

March 29, 2012 at 9:22 pm
(12) liam says:

coke is the best

April 4, 2012 at 10:48 am
(13) blows says:

coke blows

April 6, 2012 at 8:05 am
(14) dragon slayaaaa says:

I agree with “yes says.”

April 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm
(15) Zedora says:

Coke is pratically liquified sugar ONLY. Plus there are plenty of other sodas better than that crap.

April 30, 2012 at 10:24 am
(16) you mom stinks says:

I LOVE VA JJ!!!!!!!:)

May 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm
(17) Epic GUYzzz says:

coke is crap. ROOT BEER ROCKS!!! :D !!!!

June 14, 2012 at 1:03 am
(18) Lollipop says:

I love putting mentos in coke

June 15, 2012 at 1:03 am
(19) Cherry perry says:

Lol same I LOVE IT❤.
COKE is still yummy in my tummy

July 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm
(20) creampuff says:

♥ coke ♥
the best ever in whole world

July 23, 2012 at 10:30 pm
(21) Jess says:


August 7, 2012 at 3:18 am
(22) eshays says:

who ever thinks pepsi is better than coke are well and truly gay. coke is the best and rootbear and sprite and ice tea

September 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm
(23) TRULY GAY says:

dear eshays,

why yes, i like the taste of pepsi better and i am TRULY gay! i was just wondering however, what a “rootbear” is. it sounds interesting and i would like to purchase one for my next totally gay party.

anxiously awaiting your reply,

totally gay pepsi drinker

September 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm
(24) Rick Kiesewetter says:

Aspertine I think is Chemical not Natural Sugar, and from what ppl say it is cancer causing. So they say.

October 12, 2012 at 5:38 am
(25) kirsten says:

i think coca cola is the best refreshing drink that i have ever tryed who ever invented it is a complete ledgent

October 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm

A healthy person can drink more than 5 cans of Coke a day and still remain 100% healthy. Above 10 Coke’s a day may lead to unhealthy teeth, however, the chemical formula in Coke is not as bad for a person as other carbonated drinks.

Modern Cocacola provides many recreational nutrients to the human body. It can also help ease pain, migraines, headaches, stomach aches, boost energy, and supplement a meal. A lot of car mechanics favor Coke due to it’s chemically relieving benefits.

October 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm
(27) 007 says:

i love coooooooooooookkkkkkkkkkkkkeeeeeeeeee

November 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm

your stupid mang 2 cans of any soda a week will boost your chance of pancreatic cancer to 80% so good day dumba$$

November 16, 2012 at 11:05 am
(29) Rebecca says:

did u know that there is bug juice in coco cola? i don’t drink it, it’s too gross!!

December 2, 2012 at 11:51 am
(30) Beast Mode says:

TRULY GAY has no friends and Dr. Pepper is so much better than any other drink

December 6, 2012 at 7:36 pm

coke is KEWL

December 10, 2012 at 1:45 am
(32) betr th4n U says:

you guys have no lives

January 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm
(33) jaye says:


January 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm
(34) southerngirl4 says:

i want to learn more

January 14, 2013 at 9:14 am
(35) Love me says:

I love coke and root beer taste like dead animals and Pitt sweat

January 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm
(36) Yo says:

Thanks this was vrery helpful!

January 30, 2013 at 11:51 am
(37) OMGGRRL!!! says:

<3 IT!!!!

February 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm
(38) isaiah m.j. says:


February 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm
(39) gazza says:

aspertine becomes like a diaretic i know because ive studied it coke actually killls you limited use not so bad.my friend worked for coke years ago and he drunk some of the coke after they finished a run he drunk so much that one day he had sore mouth he siad to me to look inside his mouth, the middle of his tongue was black and the middle of his tongue fell out onto the ground .it was round and the size of a twenty cent piece

March 13, 2013 at 8:48 am
(40) YO MOMMA says:

lololollol coke is epic

March 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm
(41) k says:


u will never drink it again

unless your dumb

April 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm
(42) Puro Boricua says:

Drinking coke every day can make you gain weight and anemia…..Good luck..!

April 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm
(43) crackhead says:

coke is Delicious

April 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm
(44) corinthian says:


April 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm
(45) Yolo says:

i hate all soda is gross like all your moms!!!! peace!

April 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm
(46) balls says:

squirtle is a boss

April 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm
(47) daycione says:

well coke and root beer both are good so both of u are correct

April 25, 2013 at 11:46 am
(48) sabrina says:

i think coke-a-cola is a wonderful healthy drink.

July 31, 2013 at 5:18 pm
(49) louwolfe says:

I love coca cola

August 24, 2013 at 12:11 am
(50) Kon says:

I have been told that Horse Urine is the number 1 ingredient of Coca Cola. Is that Correct?

September 9, 2013 at 11:54 am
(51) mohammad says:

as far as it doesn’t contains alcohol there is no harm consuming it,but to avoid useless calorie and maintain your fisique one should avoid coca cola.all the best

September 23, 2013 at 11:53 am
(52) Joe says:

Coka cola is so bab search what is in it baaa

October 12, 2013 at 11:31 am
(53) Francisco says:

Coke has more MgCO3 than Pepsi. Indeed, Pepsi has more CaCO3*2H2O than Coke. This is the difference in its hardness.

October 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm
(54) Roy007 says:

I didn’t know that about it.

October 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm
(55) hi says:

mentoes + coke=blast off

October 31, 2013 at 1:47 pm
(56) hi says:

coke rocks

November 4, 2013 at 11:02 am
(57) hahaha says:

So i really like coke but when my dad found out he was kind of sad because i didnt like pepsi as much. i still like both though

November 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm
(58) anoymons says:

this is pointless to say things that have nothing to do with the article like coke is yummy or other things

December 3, 2013 at 7:57 am
(59) Tomas Frias, Jr. says:

I have been a cola (Pepsi and Coke) drinker since I was 3 years old and now I am 69 years old and still drinking it as a refreshing beverage and to help my stomach in the digestion of red meat and fowl food intake. Lately, about a few days ago I learned from friends that, Coke is a good ammo shell cleaning solution and I was astonished of the result, TRUE!

December 6, 2013 at 5:33 am
(60) ARC. SULEX says:


March 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm
(61) chaitanya says:

yes u r true

March 9, 2014 at 4:29 am
(62) razor says:

coke is a tasty drink but if in the en you drink up to 12 drinks a day it could become a deadly element and cause stomach aces and bad health can also cause a Tuma’s and stop you from living your life safely and happely

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