Coca-Cola formula

From Academic Kids

For the main article on the company, see The Coca-Cola Company. For the main article on the beverage, see Coca-Cola.

The Coca-Cola formula is The Coca-Cola Company's top-secret recipe for Coca-Cola. The formula is considered one of the most closely-held corporate secrets in modern business. Only a few top Coca-Cola employees are reported to know or have access to the formula.

Published accounts say it contains or once contained sugar, caramel, caffeine, phosphoric acid, coca leaf and kola nut extract, lime extract, flavoring mixture, vanilla and glycerin. Alleged syrup recipes vary greatly, and Coca-Cola reluctantly admits the formula has changed over the decades. In a much-publicized corporate disaster, Coca-Cola introduced New Coke in 1985. After public outcry, the receipe was restored to the original formula.

Amateur sleuths have tried to reverse engineer the production process and ingredients. The secret formula is the subject of books, speculation and marketing lore. The company consistently claims that all published recipes are incorrect.

Recipes for other soft drinks and products—Pepsi-Cola, KFC chicken and McDonalds special sauce—are also closely-guarded trade secrets, but the Coke formula certainly attracts the most attention.


Purported Secret Recipe One

This recipe is attributed to a sheet of paper found in an old formulary book owned by Coca-Cola inventor, John S. Pemberton, just before his death:

"Mix caffeine acid and lime juice in 1 quart boiling water add vanilla and flavoring when cool. Let stand for 24 hours. Flavoring is likely a mixture orange oil, lemon, nutmeg oil, cinnamon oil, coriander oil, neroli oil and 1 quart of alcohol."

This recipe does not specify when sugar, coca, caramel or the rest of the water are added.

Purported Secret Recipe Two

This recipe is attributed to pharmacist John Reed.

  • 30 pounds of sugar
  • 2 gallons of water
  • 1 quart of lime juice
  • 4 ounces of citrate of caffeine
  • 2 ounces of citric acid
  • 1 ounce of extract of vanilla
  • 6 drams (3/4 ounce) of fluid extract of cola
  • 6 drams of fluid extract of coca

Purported Secret Recipe Three

This recipe is from Food Flavorings: Composition, Manufacture and Use (2nd Ed.) 1968 by Joseph Merory (AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, CT)

Makes one gallon of syrup. "Mix 2,400 grams of sugar with just enough water to dissolve (high-fructose corn syrup may be substituted for half the sugar). Add 37 grams of caramel, 3.1 grams of caffeine, and 11 grams of phosphoric acid. Extract the cocaine from 1.1 grams of coca leaf (Truxillo growth of coca preferred) with toluol; discard the cocaine extract. Soak the coca leaves and kola nuts (both finely powdered; 0.37 gram of kola nuts) in 22 grams of 20 percent alcohol. California white wine fortified to 20 percent strength was used as the soaking solution circa 1909, but Coca-Cola may have switched to a simple water/alcohol mixture. After soaking, discard the coca and kola and add the liquid to the syrup. Add 30 grams of lime juice (a former ingredient, evidently, that Coca-Cola now denies) or a substitute such as a water solution of citric acid and sodium citrate at lime-juice strength. Mix together 0.88 gram of lemon oil, 0.47 gram of orange oil, 0.20 gram of cassia (Chinese cinnamon) oil. 0.07 gram of nutmeg oil, and, if desired, traces of coriander, lavender, and neroli oils, and add to 4.9 grams of 95 percent alcohol. Shake. Add 2.7 grams of water to the alcohol/oil mixture and let stand for twenty-four hours at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit [15.5 ]. A cloudy layer will separate. Take off the clear part of the liquid only and add the syrup. Add 19 grams of glycerine (from vegetable source, not hog fat, so the drink can be sold to Jews and Muslims who observe their respective religion's dietary restrictions) and 1.5 grams of vanilla extract. Add water (treated with chlorine) to make 1 gallon of syrup. Yield (used to flavor carbonated water): 128 6.5-ounce bottles."

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