Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Soft drinks

Dr Pepper vs. Coke [Inside the Label]

Posted: 17 May 2010 05:00 AM PDT

With a particular flavor you either love or you hate, Dr Pepper has been around for as long as Coca Cola. Actually, one year longer – since 1885. Although it never reached the heights of Coke's success, Dr Pepper is a very popular soft drink, mostly in the US.

At 7 teaspoons of sugar per cup, though, it is nutritionally equivalent to all the other fizzy pops. Meaning – you get a 100 calorie liquid snack.

Looking at the ingredients list, Dr Pepper and Coke are almost identical.

Dr Pepper Ingredients:  Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Caffeine.

Coke: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Caffeine.

The difference between the two is the pepper, right? Actually, we'll never know.

Both Coke and Dr Pepper's flavoring are trade secrets hidden behind  "natural flavors" and "natural and artificial flavors" respectively.

Whenever a product needs to be strengthened with natural or artificial flavors, you should ask yourself why. In the case of soda pop, the answer is clear. Sugar and water alone are not enough to compel consumers. But what about all the other processed foods and drinks made with "real" fruit that still require added flavorings?

Moving on to other ingredients – Both Coke and Dr Pepper contain high fructose syrup as the sweetener, caramel color, caffeine, and phosphoric acid. Dr Pepper adds sodium benzoate to boot.

You definitely don't want your kids having too much of any of these ingredients on a daily basis, if at all.

What to do at the supermarket:

Make a habit of skipping the beverage aisle. Soft drinks should be treated as a once-in-a-while treat, not a daily must have.

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