An initiative of :

Wageningen University

Sitekeuring.NET Award> Questions and Answers > Food Products > Drinks

Why is there phosphoric acid in cola?

Phosphoric acid is used as an acidifying agent. Cola is a very acid drink, more acidic than well-known acid products such as lemon juice or vinegar. As cola also contains either sugar or sweeteners, we do not realise the acidity; the sweet taste masks the acid taste. Lemons contain much less sugar and thus taste more acidic. The acid is also responsible for the anti-rust effect of cola.

Why phosphoric acid is used is not clear; most recipes are still secret. Due to the acidity, micro organisms such as fungi and bacteria will not be able to grow; the acid thus also acts as a preservative. Acid is also considered a pleasant and refreshing taste. Other acids may cause the same sensation; however, the widespread use of phosphoric acid is probably due to the fact that when the drink was developed (in the 19th century) phosphoric acid was cheap and easy to obtain.











European Masters Degree in Food Studies - an Educational Journey

Master in Food Safety Law is an initiative of Wageningen University, The Netherlands