Coca cola is a carbonated, sweet and caramelized drink; it undoubtedly represents one of the most well-known and distributed drinks on the entire planet, if not the most famous.
Coca Cola and Disputes
Since the 2000s, some quite significant criticisms have attempted to weaken the Coca-cola brand. Disputes have been raised regarding various issues, including: health impact, environmental impact and commercial practices.
The charges mentioned are summarized in:
- Possible adverse health effects
- Environmental impoverishment
- Possible monopoly engagement of commercial practices
- Questionable working protocols (accusation of involvement with paramilitary organizations in suppression of unions)
- Poor marketing strategy
- Violation of individual property rights.
The suspicion that all this may be true has favored the emergence of pressure groups towards the coca cola, such as the "Killer Coke", or of boycott and legal actions.
Coca-cola is a sweet drink rich in water and sugars (monosaccharides or disaccharides) and almost devoid of any other nutrient. Traces of other molecules are inferred, but none of these is contained in an entity that can be considered significant.
If desired, the average portion of coca cola should still be limited to 150-250ml / day; this is because the sugars contained in it tend to raise the total energy intake, moreover - if you want to respect the maximum limit of 10-12% of daily calories supplied by simple carbohydrates - the intake of sugars through coca-cola imposes a consequent limitation of the intake of simple carbohydrates from fruit, milk and vegetables. By limiting these latter foods, we tend to significantly reduce the amount of fiber, vitamins, mineral salts and other useful molecules, which are absent in coca-cola (which for this reason, from a nutritional point of view, could be called a "useless" food or that brings empty calories).
Coca cola is a sugary drink to be excluded in the diet against diabetes, overweight and hypertriglyceridemia. Nevertheless, the "light" versions sweetened with acalory artificial additives can also be used by these categories of subjects, but always with appropriate moderation.
Coca cola is a product that is not recommended for children, first of all due to the significant dose of stimulants; after all, the caffeine-free version does not have this disadvantage but still contains significant percentages of soluble carbohydrates (energy nutrients particularly subject to abuse in this age group).
|Composition for: 100g Coca Cola, Pepsi and the like (Cola-type carbonated drink, with caffeine)|
Nutritional values (per 100 g of edible portion)
Furthermore, as we shall see below, coca cola is strongly advised against subjects with weak teeth or with enamel compromises. In this regard, it is advisable to read the article: Diet and Health of the Teeth.
Some people believe that coca cola facilitates digestion ; in reality, quite often the opposite occurs. Let's see why. Coca-cola has an acid pH, therefore a possible pro-digestive effect could occur in people suffering from hypochloridria. However, the statistics reveal that the most common cases of digestive disorders involve hypercloridria, or excess hydrochloric acid (favored by the presence of caffeine in the diet). This excess, perceived by the digestive tract, slows the passage of food from the stomach to the duodenum and requires the conspicuous release of buffer molecules from the duodenal mucosa. The long permanence of the acid bolus in the stomach also promotes irritation of the mucosa itself, which often (in the long term) results in "gastritis" and an increase in the probability of gastro esophageal reflux and hiatal hernia.
Furthermore, the presence of carbon dioxide in the drink favors an increase in intra-abdominal pressure due to swelling of the stomach; this circumstance, following the well-known eructations, leaves a pleasant sense of release and apparent emptying of the stomach. In reality, the distension of the gastric walls represents a further stimulus to the release of acid juices, without counting that - in the long run - it increases the gastric capacity requiring greater quantities of food due to the onset of the sense of satiety.
Finally, remember that the excess of caffeine, in addition to the symptoms of nervous nature (tachycardia, hyperstimulation, diarrhea, etc.), compromises the absorption of some molecules in the intestine (especially vitamins and minerals).
Possible Harmful Effects of Coca Cola on Health
Currently, some American studies have shown that "sweetened soda and beverages are the main source of excess calories in the American diet". For this reason, most nutritionists claim that coca cola and other soft non-alcoholic drinks can be harmful (if consumed in excess). This applies not only to adults, but also and even more to children, who use coca cola as a "basic" drink and not as a "complement" to water in the daily diet.
It was then highlighted that ordinary consumers of sweetened carbonated beverages have a lower intake of minerals and vitamins such as: calcium, magnesium, ascorbic acid (vit. C), riboflavin (vit. B2) and retinol equivalent (vit. A ).
Coca-Cola has also caused many perplexities due to the high concentration of caffeine, probably responsible for the physical dependence of the drink.
A long-term correlation has also been demonstrated among women who are habitual users of cola and the onset of osteoporosis, but the same result did not involve the male sex. It is possible that this correlation is a side effect of phosphoric acid, as the connection showed no differences with the versions without sugar or without caffeine.
Another very controversial aspect concerns the health of the oral cavity. Since 1940 there have been many attempts at legal action against coca cola due to the alleged negative effect on tooth enamel, secondary to the high acidity (but also, theoretically, to the high intake of sugars and the stickiness of the drink); however, during various investigations, coca-cola was not more harmful than other carbonated drinks or fruit juices. However, frequent exposure of the enamel to coca cola causes erosion and consequent increased risk of dental caries.
It should also be specified that coca cola has a very high content of fructose or syrups that are rich in it (corn or sugar cane). In addition to the further increase in the probability of caries and nutritional imbalance, this aspect has given rise to a problem linked to the raw materials used; in particular, the substitution of sucrose from sugar cane with corn fructose, would imply, in certain nations, the use of genetically modified plants (GMOs).
A particular incident in February 2010 in New Zealand further complicated the image of coca cola. Here, the death of Natasha Harris was blamed (by the coroner) for excessive consumption of this drink; he declared: " it was unlikely that she had started when she died and how she died ", in practice: " if Natasha Harris had not consumed such large quantities of coca cola, it is unlikely that she would have died this way and so early ". The girl was struck by hypopotassemia and had an enlargement-fattening of the liver (fatty steatosis) due (always according to the pathologist Dr Dan Mornin) to excess sugars of the diet. Natasha's partner, Christopher Hodgkinson, declared that the victim's daily consumption was around 4 bottles of 2.25l coca-cola and precluded any other beverage. This is obviously an extreme case, given that even water, if taken in similar quantities (over 8-10 liters per day), can even prove lethal in certain circumstances.
Company and Brand Coca Cola
Coca cola is a multinational company able to spend up to 30 billion dollars a year for brand advertising; its distribution is constantly growing and it is estimated that currently (2014) consumers in over 200 countries around the world drink up to 1.8 billion portions of coke per day.
Curiosity : Coca Cola was the leading drink also in India until 1977, when the company abandoned its trade in response to the request (given by the new government) to cede the secret formula as required by the law on trade (FERA) . In 1993, the company returned after the introduction of political liberalization. However, even today coca cola is the subject of numerous controversies in this country, where it is believed that the production of the beverage implies the drying up of aquifers and the use of sources contaminated by pesticides.
The coca cola facebook page has gained, since its opening to today (13 August 2014), more than 88 million "Likes", with a progression of about 2 "Likes" every 10 seconds! According to a study by "Interbrand" (global brandig consulting firm), carried out in 2011, coca cola earned the title of "the world's most prestigious brand".
The production of coca cola DOES NOT occur completely in the various factories located throughout the globe. On the contrary, there is a central delivery mechanism of the concentrated mixture which, locally (subject to a territorial exclusivity contract to named companies), is subjected to dilution, sweetening and aeration; these intermediaries will be responsible for delivering packaged products (cans, plastic and glass bottles) to shops and institutions for automatic distribution. Furthermore, the concentrate is also delivered to companies operating in the "drums" sector for staplers.
Coca Cola Company has also introduced other products of various sizes, such as Diet Coke, Coca Cola without Caffeine, Diet Coke without Caffeine, Coca Cola Cherry, Coca Cola Zero, Coca Cola with Vanilla and some special versions such as: lemon, lime and coffee.
Birth of Coca Cola
The company is known as "The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta" (in Georgia - USA), but it is often called simply "Coke" (trademark registered by the same company in 1944). Originally, in the nineteenth century, coca cola was produced for medicinal purposes by Colonel John Pemberton; in particular, this drink served as a remedy for morphine addiction, the well-known opiate used as an anesthetic (but also for the treatment of dyspepsia, impotence, etc.). The first formula was coined at "Pemberton's Eagle Drug and Chemical House", a Georgian pharmacy, with the name "Coca Wine" (a term probably inspired by "Vin Mariani") but only later, after the purchase by Asa Griggs Candler, became the soft-drink par excellence (20th century).
Outline of Production
Coca cola is a sweet drink produced from ingredients such as: carbonated water (or water and carbon dioxide), sugar (sucrose or saccharose syrup or high fructose corn syrup, depending on the location), caffeine, acid phosphoric, caramel dye (E150d), glycerin and natural flavorings (PRESUMIBLY coca extract, lime extract, vanilla, orange, lemon, nutmeg and cinnamon).
Today (since 1980), the American coca cola (except for that of Cleveland) is produced with corn starch syrup, while the Mexican with sugar cane syrup.
A 330ml Italian can of coca cola contains 35g of soluble carbohydrates (simple sugars or disaccharides, about 8 teaspoons of coffee), 50mg of sodium and no trace of fat or potassium; the energy supply is 139kcal.
In fact, the formula of the coca cola base (or syrup) is a secret recipe, since the natural aromas that compose it are secret.
Originally, the stimulants contained in the coca cola were cocaine and caffeine, respectively obtained from coca leaves and kola nut (hence the name coca cola - the K was replaced with a C for marketing reasons). Pemberton's first formula included five ounces of coca leaves per gallon but, later, Candler reduced it to 1/10; until 1903, when it was eliminated, cocaine was included for as many as 9mg each glass. In 1904 the company began to use the production residues of cocaine extraction of the "Tepan Society", that is the only American company still authorized to process this South American plant cultivated for pharmaceutical purposes. Contrary to what the name mentions, TODAY coca cola contains no cola extract, but only caffeine.
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