Are there unlisted ingredients in Coca Cola?

Is aspartame added to regular cola?

I've recently been drinking cola regularly and was really put off by the taste as it appeared to contain aspartame. At first I thought I was crazy because it's regular cola, not sugar free. The ingredients only say "high fructose corn syrup".

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

Anyway, I'm getting a Coke today (April 19, 2016) and to the whole world it tastes like an artificial sweetener (I can tell the difference) so I think this is just crazy. Isn't it illegal to have ingredients not listed? So I start googling and find this:

Is aspartame used in all sodas?

Is that right? Are companies now adding artificial sweeteners like aspartame rather than listing them as an ingredient (it's 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 [file number 2002F - 0220] "Food additives approved for direct addition to foods intended for human consumption; Acesulfame Potassium". See Federal Register Vol. 250 / Wednesday December 31, 2003. So the possibility that counterfeit sugar is being used clandestinely under the "natural flavoring" category seems valid.

called 2voyage

According to the FDA: "(2) The label of any food containing the additive must include the following statement on either the main display panel or the information panel:

called 2voyage

PHENYLKETONURIC: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE The statement must appear clearly and conspicuously in the label when compared to other words, statements, designs or devices, in bold type and on a clearly contrasting background, so that it is likely to be read and understood by the ordinary person and customary terms of sale and use. "


So, maybe the wrong claim is that Tyler can taste the difference!

Matt black

Have you tried a blinded randomized study of your ability to "taste" artificial sweeteners? If you haven't done this, your ability is likely to be a perceptual illusion as it is correct.

Strange thinking ♦

Can you confirm that the Coke you bought was in a bottle or in a can? (i.e. it was not in a restaurant where the most obvious cause is using Diet Coke (or even another Coke) instead of regular Coke)



According to the US FDA


Part I - Multipurpose Additives

Sec. 172,804 aspartame.


(a) Aspartame is the chemical 1-methyl-N-1- & agr; -aspartyl-1- phenylalanine (C 14 H 18 N 2 O 5).


2) The label of all food containing the additive must bear the following statement on either the main display panel or the information panel:


The declaration must be on the label compared to other words, statements, designs, or devices clear and appear conspicuously and in bold and on a clearly contrasting background so that they are likely to be read, understood and used by the ordinary person under normal purchase conditions.

My main focus

Coca Cola (classic)

According to Coca-Cola Product Facts, the ingredients of Coca Cola are

  • Carbonated water
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Caramel color
  • phosphoric acid
  • Natural flavours
  • caffeine

Diet Coke

In contrast, we can see that the company is following FDA requirements for a product known to contain aspartame:


One or the other of the following must be true

  • Coca-Cola (Classic) does not contain intentionally introduced aspartame.
  • Coca-Cola is deliberately committing an easy-to-find crime with potentially disastrous consequences for its shareholders.

There is also the possibility (implicitly above) that someone accidentally introduced aspartame into your batch of Coca Cola.


Or maybe they used the wrong doses. Maybe a lot of diet was packaged as normal?

Glen O.

Or maybe Coca-Cola is shifting the recipe to look more like Pepsi's, which I understand tastes a lot more Diet Coke.