Doing some research on Coca Cola, and I was interested in whether their signature cola contained corn syrup. let me share some of my research with you.
Each country uses slightly different ingredients, so I’ll explain the major countries, as well as, where to find information about the Coca Cola in your country.
Also, you may be wondering how corn syrup is made, and why it’s used.
Read on, where I’ll explain the answers to these questions.
Table of Contents
Does regular Coke have high fructose corn syrup?
As always, you’ll want to check the label of the individual Coca Cola you’re buying to see what ingredients it has.
Because Coca Cola could have been imported from elsewhere, or be part of a unique batch.
Sucralose which is used in Mexican Coca Cola is a chemical that’s derived from sucrose, which is extracted from sugar beets, sugar cane, or corn.
This makes it very similar to corn syrup.
Sucrose has been deemed as healthy to be used in food and drink according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What is corn syrup made out of?
Corn syrup is slightly different to high fructose corn syrup.
High fructose corn syrup is made using different chemical reactions which turn some of the sucrose into fructose.
This gives it a higher percentage of fructose compared to regular corn syrup. This is where high fructose corn syrup gets its name.
Here’s a video which shows how to make high fructose corn syrup at home yourself.
But, it does require A LOT of time, and tonnes of obscure ingredients.
There are different kinds of high fructose corn syrup and they are categorized based on how much fructose they have once the water has been removed.
They get their name based on the percentage of fructose.
It’s also commonly abbreviated to HFCS.
As an example, HFCS 42 has roughly 42% fructose.
This is the type that’s used in baking goods, and drinks. But, in soda mostly HFCS 55 is used according to the FDA.
Does UK Coca Cola contain corn syrup?
I went ahead and summarised whether Coca Cola found in each of the English speaking countries uses corn syrup or sugar in the following table:
|Country||Do they use corn syrup?||Link to the official ingredients list|
|USA||Yes||Coca Cola USA|
|Canada||Yes||Coca Cola Canada|
|UK||No||Coca Cola UK|
|Australia||No||Coca Cola Australia|
|New Zealand||No||Coca Cola New Zealand|
When did Coke start using corn syrup instead of sugar?
Additional reasons why Coca Cola and other big names like Pepsi changed to corn syrup is because sugar cane is mostly grown in tropical regions.
And tropical regions are susceptible to frequent extreme weather such as tropical cyclones that can wipe out entire crops.
This dramatically changes the price of sugar, and can cause issues with supply.
In 2019, the US Department of Agriculture stated that corn was the most grown crop in the USA.
Based on data provided by the United Nations, the USA produces the most corn.
In a document put out by the US National Park service corn is native to the America’s, so it’s no surprise that it grows so well in the USA.
So, another reason is that corn grows so well, in the USA, which makes it easier to source for US and Canada based production facilities.
How much high fructose corn syrup is in coke?
Through their laboratory testing, the researchers also found that the high fructose corn syrup used in Coca Cola is 60% fructose and 40% sucrose.
Which makes the high fructose corn syrup Coke uses HFCS 60.
They showed that other popular soda’s had the following total sugar content.
|Brand||Total Sugar (grams per liter)||Fructose (grams per liter)||Sucrose (grams per liter)||HFCS Type|
|Coca Cola||105.24||62.52||41.68||HFCS 62|
|Dr. Pepper||102.02||61.42||39.56||HFCS 61|
|Mountain Dew||109.52||65.71||43.81||HFCS 66|
|Mug Root Beer||114.01||66.94||46.02||HFCS 67|
Although Gatorade is technically not a soda it had the highest sugar content out of these drinks.
The second highest sugar content is Mug root beer, followed by Mountain Dew.
The lowest total sugar content soda is Dr. Pepper, followed by Sprite, and then Coca Cola.
Is high fructose corn syrup worse than sugar?
In the study quoted above they found a correlation between drinking even 1 soda sweetened with sugar increases the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.
The study also looked as artificially sweetened sodas and sodas that are sweetened with fruit juice and also found a correlation between drinking them and getting Type 2 diabetes.
However, they concluded that there’s bias in the results, so artificially sweetened and fruit juice sweetened sodas aren’t conclusively linked to Type 2 diabetes, as yet.
I recently wrote about this in an article I wrote titled: Is 1 Soda a Day Bad for you. You can read the full details by clicking that link.
Coca Cola from different countries can contain sugar or corn syrup.
In my opinion high fructose corn syrup is used in Coca Cola in the US and Canada because there is so much corn produced in the USA, and they’ve got it down to a fine art, therefore it’s more economical.