Chemical pollutants found in some colas
Cola is still the most popular soft drink among Germans. Young people in particular like to drink the effervescent caffeine often. An investigation by the Stiftung Warentest, however, now showed that many of the soft drinks contain undesirable pollutants and also have a very high sugar content. Only four of the 29 colas tested received the “good” test rating.
Are you one of those people who like to drink cola frequently? Then you should read this article particularly carefully, because the Stiftung Warentest has now examined 29 different colas for their sugar content and contaminants. The results will not appeal to cola drinkers very well: only four of the products were rated "good". In addition, undesirable pollutants were found in many colas. A cola even exceeded the legally prescribed alcohol limit. The experts have now published the test results on their website and in the magazine "Test" (June 2016 edition).
Two colas in the test were rated "poor"
The Stiftung Warentest examined 29 different colas and additionally Dr. Pepper, a drink that looks like cola, but is not cola. The results of the test are certainly not very pleasing for cola drinkers. Only four of the products tested received the overall rating of “good”. The reasons for this were: The drink contains very high amounts of sugar, and the test also found that many of the colas also contained undesirable pollutants, the experts explain. In the case of a drink, it was even possible to determine an alcohol content that exceeded the legally prescribed alcohol limit. Overall, two of the products tested completely failed the test and received only one "poor" as an evaluation. The majority of the colas examined were rated "satisfactory". The researchers awarded the grade “sufficient” five times.
Cola with sweetener wins the test
Cola variants that were sweetened with sweetener and were therefore sugar-free were rated best. The test winner among all colas was Coca-Cola light (overall grade good = 2.1). This was followed by Coca-Cola Zero (overall grade good = 2.4) and two cheap discounter products. First, Freeway Cola Light from Lidl (overall grade good = 2.4) and then River Cola 0% sugar from Aldi Nord (overall grade good = 2.5), say the experts at Stiftung Warentest.
Cola contains too much of the pollutant 4-methylimidazole
The tests particularly criticized the chemical quality of the cola drinks. For example, the typical brown of the drink almost always comes from the coloring caramel. A pollutant is produced during its production, which is called 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), the authors say. In the EU there is a limit on how much 4-methylimidazole may be contained in caramel. However, it is not precisely regulated how much caramel may contain in our food. In the United States, on the other hand, there is a guideline that is 29 micrograms per day. For three of the drinks tested, however, this limit has already been exceeded. If we drink half a liter of the liquid, the experts warn. In the case of a cola, even small amounts were enough to cross the borders. With this drink, the limit of 0.07 liters was reached.
Some colas tested contain chlorate and too much alcohol
Other colas contained chemical residues or an excessive alcohol content. Residues of chlorate were found in some beverages, which mostly come from cleaning agents or disinfectants, the researchers explain. One of the products also contained a very high level of chlorate. In the test, cola also contained too much alcohol. This is a clear violation of the law, the goods testers explained. One of the colas tested contained three grams per liter. In Germany, however, only two grams per liter are permitted for soft drinks.
Half a liter of classic cola contains 16.5 pieces of sugar cubes
It is well known that cola has a very high sugar content. But how much sugar is actually in the caffeinated soft drink? On average, classic colas contain 16.5 pieces of sugar cubes in half a liter. This sugar content corresponds to the daily amount of added sugar recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). For this reason, the classic colas received point deductions in the current test. Colas with a mix of sugar and stevia sweetener have the advantage that sugar from other foods can be absorbed before the recommended daily amount is exceeded, the authors explain. The test also showed that if colas only contain sweeteners according to the list of ingredients, they are actually completely sugar-free. A disadvantage of colas with sweeteners was that our sensory assessment always tasted the sweeteners.
Kidney sufferers should avoid cola, phosphoric acid contained in it can be hazardous to health
Cola also contains a substance that gives the drink its sour, tangy taste. We are talking about so-called phosphoric acid. High amounts of phosphoric acid can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, warn the experts at the Stiftung Warentest. For this reason, kidney sufferers should at best avoid the soft drink. However, a myth about cola could be clearly refuted, cola is not extremely caustic. Cola is unable to break down an entire piece of steak overnight. (as)