Coca-Cola is phasing out the use of the controversial additive sodium benzoate in Diet Coke because of consumer demand for more natural products. The company said it began removing the preservative (E211) from production lines in January, and so it should be out of circulation by the end of the year. However, the additive removal is only currently planned for products sold in Britain. The Coca-Cola Company could not confirm if any other countries would follow suit.

A spokesperson also said that there are no current plans to remove sodium benzoate from any other of its brands, such as Fanta, Sprite, Oasis and regular Coca-Cola.

“The product is very important technically, especially in fruit-based drinks,” said a spokesperson. “We are currently able to remove it from Diet Coke and we will look at removing it from products where technically possible.”

Sodium benzoate is used as a preservative in soft drinks, jams, fruit juices, pickles, shrimp, pharmaceuticals (especially cough syrups), and soy sauces. It primarily prevents them from going moldy. Recent studies have highlighted health concerns from its use.

However, Coca-Cola insisted the move was not a result of the studies and its removal from Diet Coke is simply a response to consumer preferences for natural. Read the rest of this entry »

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, over one million people are allergic to substances commonly added to beer, wine, and liquor. Because the law does not require that ingredients be printed on alcoholic-beverage labels, most consumers don’t know, for example, which wines contain such additives as sulfur dioxide and which liqueurs contain coffee whiteners.

So what exactly is in your beer?

Some typical beer additives:

Ammonia caramel
Rhoiso-alpha acids
Sulphur dioxide
Propylene glycol alginate
Sodium benzoate