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Recently, I have been drinking regular Coke and have been really turned off by the taste, since it seemed to have aspartame in it. At first I thought I was crazy because it is regular Coke, not sugar free. On the ingredients it just says "high fructose corn syrup".

Nevertheless, after two weeks of this, I kept thinking, "Jesus, this tastes like diet." I was even pouring it out, thinking maybe it was just a "bad" one or something.

Anyway, so I get a coke today (April 19, 2016) and for all the world it tastes like an artificial sweetener (I can tell the difference), so I am thinking, this is just nuts. Isn't it illegal to have non-listed ingredients? So, I start doing some googling and I come up with this:

Is Aspartame used in all sodas?

Is this right? Are companies now adding artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and not listing it as an ingredient (its a "natural flavor")?

Note: I have confirmed that the FDA has approved another sugar substitute, acesulfame potassium, for use as a "flavor enhancer" in beverages. See 21 CFR Part 172 [Docket No. 2002F–0220] "Food Additives Permitted for Direct Addition to Food for Human Consumption; Acesulfame Potassium". See Federal Register Vol. 68, No. 250 / Wednesday, December 31, 2003. So, the possibility of fake sugars being used secretely under the category of "natural flavors" seems to be valid.

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    According to the FDA: "(2) The label of any food containing the additive shall bear, either on the principal display panel or on the information panel, the following statement: – called2voyage Apr 19 '16 at 21:42
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    PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE The statement shall appear in the labeling prominently and conspicuously as compared to other words, statements, designs or devices and in bold type and on clear contrasting background in order to render it likely to be read and understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use." – called2voyage Apr 19 '16 at 21:43
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    So: maybe the bogus claim is that Tyler can taste the difference! – GEdgar Apr 19 '16 at 21:47
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    Have you tried doing a blinded randomised trial of your ability to "taste" artificial sweeteners? If you have not, your ability is a likely to be a perceptual illusion as it is to be correct. – matt_black Apr 20 '16 at 16:08
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    Can you confirm the Coke you bought was in a bottle or can? (i.e. it wasn't at a restaurant, where the most obvious cause is Diet Coke (or even a different cola) being substituted for regular Coke) – Oddthinking Apr 21 '16 at 14:35
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FDA

According to the US FDA

PART 172 -- FOOD ADDITIVES PERMITTED FOR DIRECT ADDITION TO FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

Subpart I--Multipurpose Additives

Sec. 172.804 Aspartame.

...

(a) Aspartame is the chemical 1-methyl N- l-[alpha]-aspartyl-l-phenylalanine (C14H18N2O5).

...

2) The label of any food containing the additive shall bear, either on the principal display panel or on the information panel, the following statement:

PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE

The statement shall appear in the labeling prominently and conspicuously as compared to other words, statements, designs or devices and in bold type and on clear contrasting background in order to render it likely to be read and understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use.

My emphasis

Coca Cola (classic)

According to coca-colaproductfacts The ingredients of Coca Cola are

  • Carbonated Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Caramel Color
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Natural Flavors
  • Caffeine

enter image description here


Diet coke

By contrast we can see that the company follow FDA requirements for a product known to contain Aspartame:

enter image description here


Conclusions

One or other of the following must be true

  • Coca-Cola (classic) does not contain deliberately-introduced Aspartame.
  • Coca-Cola company are deliberately committing an easily detected crime with potentially catastrophic consequences for their shareholders.

There is also (implicit in the above) the possibility that someone accidentally introduced Aspartame into your batch of Coca cola.

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    Or perhaps they used the wrong cans. Maybe a batch of diet was packaged as regular? – Trenin Apr 20 '16 at 18:24
  • Or maybe Coca-Cola is shifting the recipe to be more like that of Pepsi, which I understand tastes a lot more like Diet Coke. – Glen O Apr 28 '16 at 3:40

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